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Naam and Name

Discussion in 'Gurmat Vichaar' started by Gyani Jarnail Singh, Jan 31, 2009.

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  1. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    One of my Gurbani students made the following observation on Naam in Gurbani. Name is usually a Proper Noun....and given to us by our Parents/authority figure/etc. Since God doesnt have any parents/authority over Him...He has NO PROPER NOUN as a "Name" as we all do. All the "Names" of God...are Descriptive/adjectives/...attributes of Him...and given by his followers..

    As such some call Him Raam..the All Permeating Lord....Rahim..the Giver...the Sustainer..The Beneficient..the Kind One..etc etc
    These are called KIRTAM Names in Punajbi lingo.

    In the light of this observation....my student observed that in sukhmani ashtpadee 3..TERO NAO....Nirdhan ko tero Nao....usually translated as..To the POOR..wealth is YOUR NAME...to the shelterless..shelter is YOUR NAME...etc etc doesnt make sense.

    The "NAME" as in the case of the POOR would be Someone who gives them WEALTH....a human donor.... Philanthropist.... like Bill Gates who follows GOD in his heart and wishes to donate his GOD given wealth among the POOR. This ACTION of Bill gates woudl be acting out God's KIRTAM NAME as THE BENEFICIENT..the GIVER..the SUSTAINER....

    Similarly whoever builds HOMES for the HOMELESS is follwiing Gods NAME as the Sustainer..builder..giver etc...

    SO NIrdhan KO DHan tero Naao means to a Poor man to be Given wealth is like "acting out" One of your Names....

    NAAM should be WEALTH to ALL....why single out the POOR ONLY ?? Can the POOR survive ONLY on "Naam" ?? Dont the wealthy need such "Naam" ?? So to say ONLy the Nirdhan take your "Naam" as wealth is patronising translation...why wouldnt the welathy take it as "wealth" too ?? Since Gurbani is always correct..the transaltions interpretations must be faulty..

    Comments from spn readers please...
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Gyani ji

    This got me thinking ... that perhaps it would be a good project to go systematically through many examples in Gurbani and examine the patterns that you and your student have pointed out. The thesis goes along well with the idea that Akaal is not an entity either -- someone who is measured in space and time. So Akaal can be understood as action and process and the use of Naam should make sense in that contact...This would be a good exercise I think ... to see how the translators could have made different decisions and perhaps chosen expressions closer to the active and fluid nature of God. Something to think about. Your student has raised a very interesting point.
     
  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The moment we name the infinite, it ceases being The Infinite but becomes finite. To know Ik Ong kaar, the Infinite, is to measure one's actions and deeds when no one is looking. These are the building blocks that Gurbani teaches us to build our character on.

    Ik Ong Kaar is an experience: "Gungei di Mittheaaiee - No words can describe Ik Ong Kaar.

    Guru Granth says: "Merei Laal jeeoh, tera anth nah janah/ Tun jul, thul maheehal, bhurh bhur leena, tun aapei sarab samanah." - My beloved, you are Infinite, you are in organic and in inorganic form and you create yourself.

    In other words, Ik Ong Kaar is Creative Energy - Ajuni Saibhang. So what name shall we give THE ONE that encompasses all that and beyond?

    And what I understand by NAAM is that it is the Tool Box which help us build the bridge from Me-ism to One-ism as mentioned before, which is called character .

    Tejwant Singh

    PS: Gyani ji, Only a great teacher like you can instill this great inquistiveness in your students.:)
     
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    VaheguruSeekr ji

    Very profound words! "The moment we name the infinite, it ceases being The Infinite but becomes finite. To know Ik Ong kaar, the Infinite, is to measure one's actions and deeds when no one is looking. These are the building blocks that Gurbani teaches us to build our character."

    That may be why Guru Nanak said in Artee You have a 1000 eyes and you have no eyes; 1000 feet and no feet.
     
  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Antonia ji,

    Well said. Thanks to Guru Nanak, the true visionary and we are blessed to have him in our lives. Thanks to all our Gurus, who paved the way for us and etched the map on our souls so we know whom to ask the directions in case we get lost which we often do as a part of our human nature.

    Tejwant Singh
     
  7. Adsmangat

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    Gur fateh ,
    I respect Giani Arshi Ji from the core of my heart . My concept about "Naam" as sikh ideology may differ to some extent . Naam leads us to a path of eternal truth and not the Ram , raheem or govinda . Nam shortens our way to salvation which is eternal bliss and in the ambience warmth of Almighty . "kar kirpa jis apney naam laavey , nanak chauthey pad mein soa jan gat pavey" (Gaudi sukhmani P284) . We have to recognise that Namm which is " chauhn dis hukam vartai prabh tera chauhn dis naam pataalang ! sabh main sabad vartai prabh saacha karam milai bealang" (Malhar -1 P1275) . Since we cannot search that " Chauhn dis naam" therefore we naam japp to find and feel that "Chauhn dis naam" . When we acheive this stage then gurbani says
    "Ditha sabh sansaar sukh na naam bin ! tann mann hosi chaar jaanai koi jan " (gaudi M:5 322) and " Chandan Chand na sard rut muul na mitaee ghaam ! seetal theevai naanka japnad-doa harnaam"
    adsmangat
     
  8. shearwater

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    Good post! God is known by his attributes. Christians have similar names for God.

    El - the Mighty One
    Elohim - God of Israel
    El Shaddai - God all sufficient
    Adonai - Master or Lord
    Jehovah - the Self Existent One
    Jehova Jireh - the Lord will Provide
    Jehovah Rophe - the Lord Who Heals
    Jehovah Nissi - the Lord our Banner
    and many, many more.
     
  9. spnadmin

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    ਆਸਾ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
    aasaa mehalaa 5 ||
    Aasaa, Fifth Mehl:


    ਆਪੇ ਪੇਡੁ ਬਿਸਥਾਰੀ ਸਾਖ ॥
    aapae paedd bisathhaaree saakh ||
    He Himself is the tree, and the branches extending out.


    ਅਪਨੀ ਖੇਤੀ ਆਪੇ ਰਾਖ ॥੧॥
    apanee khaethee aapae raakh ||1||
    He Himself preserves His own crop. ||1||


    ਜਤ ਕਤ ਪੇਖਉ ਏਕੈ ਓਹੀ ॥
    jath kath paekho eaekai ouhee ||
    Wherever I look, I see that One Lord alone.


    ਘਟ ਘਟ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਆਪੇ ਸੋਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    ghatt ghatt anthar aapae soee ||1|| rehaao ||
    Deep within each and every heart, He Himself is contained. ||1||Pause||


    ਆਪੇ ਸੂਰੁ ਕਿਰਣਿ ਬਿਸਥਾਰੁ ॥
    aapae soor kiran bisathhaar ||
    He Himself is the sun, and the rays emanating from it.


    ਸੋਈ ਗੁਪਤੁ ਸੋਈ ਆਕਾਰੁ ॥੨॥
    soee gupath soee aakaar ||2||
    He is concealed, and He is revealed. ||2||


    ਸਰਗੁਣ ਨਿਰਗੁਣ ਥਾਪੈ ਨਾਉ ॥
    saragun niragun thhaapai naao ||
    He is said to be of the highest
    attributes, and without attributes.


    ਦੁਹ ਮਿਲਿ ਏਕੈ ਕੀਨੋ ਠਾਉ ॥੩॥
    dhuh mil eaekai keeno thaao ||3||
    Both converge onto His single point. ||3||


    ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਿ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਭਉ ਖੋਇਆ ॥
    kahu naanak gur bhram bho khoeiaa ||
    Says Nanak, the Guru has dispelled my doubt and fear.


    ਅਨਦ ਰੂਪੁ ਸਭੁ ਨੈਨ ਅਲੋਇਆ ॥੪॥੧੭॥੬੮॥
    anadh roop sabh nain aloeiaa ||4||17||68||
    With my eyes, I perceive the Lord, the embodiment of bliss, to be everywhere. ||4||17||68||
     
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  10. f1idea

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    Dear Veerjio,

    Naam word has different meaning when one is at different spiritual stage.

    Lets take the example of "Charan" and "meethey lage". How would you like the explanation to be ? at the very basic level Charan is Feet. At another level it is the Qualities (gunnas). At another level it could be the Bani itself - every word of SGGS. Likewise you can explore the possible meanings of Meethay.

    Or "PrabhMohe Kab Gal Lavengay?" If Wahegure jee is not in Human form,(or some form) then how will be embrace me? Again the answer is based on Awastha of the person and the passion he has for his beloved.

    Naam : To start with is forcefully uttering the word Waheguru. Next could be your chanting it automatically. Next would be forcing your body to chant Waheguru where your Mind simultaneously is working to feel the Gunnas of Waheguru. Next could be that you picked up one Gunna to imbibe in you. Then you conciously work on that. Then you Un-Conciously work on that. While you are imbibing these Gunnas, you will be noticiaby be behaving different than before. When people who notice the change and ask you, you will be shy to proclaim that "I did this" - rather you would like to tell them it is all because of Naam Simran or Gurus Kirpa or Gurus Baksish.

    Thus when you say Nirdhan ko dhan tera naam - try and fix the meanings beyond the literal. Nirdhan could be Money wise Poor, Health wise poor, Love wise poor, Spiritually poor and so on. For all these issues, Naam jupna will help tremendously.

    I hope I have been able to convey how to do Veechar - go beyond the literal meaning

    Bhool Chook Maf karna jee.

    Regards and Gurfateh
    Sodhi
     
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  11. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Dear tejwant Singh Ji,
    Gurfateh.

    My decades of teaching and dealing with young minds taught me that inquisitiveness is a human trait naturally born in most if not all. I also found out that if we are like the yeast...the inquisitiveness rises and expands like the flour.... we just have to shape it and keep it rising in an orderly manner. Thats what i humbly put is Guru nanak jis WAY of teaching....He is the Supreme Teacher.

    There are many schools and academies that teach Gurbani and Sikh history..etc..the exact same subjects as i teach. But these teachers insist on bringing in stories, fables. miracles etc....and use these as a crutch to teach Gurbani....to keep the interest they say. I say..GURBANI is intrinsically INTERESTING....Guru nanak ji is supreme even without we trying to show his divinity through so called "miracles" in His life. Unlike the Biblical religions."miracles" are NOT a sign of Prophethood/divinity etc in Sikhism..in Sikhi and Gurbani we have the Genuine Jewel and there is no need to pass around glass beads..even though later we produce the Jewels...Guru nanak ji Is GREAT..SGGS is GREAT simply Becasue He is Guru nanak and SGGs is SGGS...these DONT need any extra miracles etc to be proven. In the Bible the Prophet HAS to show miracles to prove hsi prophethood...in Gurmatt the Sikh Gurus REFUSED to hsow miracles and called it KEHR and ZEHR..but still some sikhs insist that our children "need" such proofs of DIVINITY...
    Such teachings produce WEAKLINGS....( because some of the Tall tales going under RELIGOUS CLOTHING...sakhis etc..) are completley ILLOGICAL and shady...and OUR YOUNGSTERS KNOW IT deep in their hearts..BUT since the tall tale is being passed along by a Sant/baaba ji/mahapurash....or a Modern Professional Teacher of an Academy of Sikhism...they KEEP QUIET as they themsleves KNOW VERY LITTLE to tangle with such a person...BUT THEY KNOW its a lot of &&&&. Such types of weaklings go through life...deadly scared of Joons..Bhoots..Jamdoots..prets..chhaiyas..miraclous happenings..bad luck days and bad luck happenings....they put each foot down carefully..FOOK maar ke paer dharna...not wantign to Offend any bhoot/jamdoot etc..they go thru life thinking.Oh I broke my Amrit..because i swallowed a fly..killed a mosquito..oh PAAP ho gaya..Oh Punn kistran karran..Shall I take Amrit again ??//Do I really have to ?? Which baba ji shall I go to now ?? Oh will I now become a Cow in my next life... such INSECURE YOUTHS abound now adays....and that is why we have so many UN-SIKH like things happenings in Jathas, deras, SikhI Camps....Many go thru life just parrotting Gurbani as Mantars Jantars..so many paaths of thsi shabad and that shabad will get this and that...what i was in previous life..whats going to be my next life...
    As they say..We CANNOT do anything about OUR PAST....But what we do in our PRESENT can either screw up our FUTURE....or make the Future.... the SECRET is in the PRESENT. Sadly most sikhs are deeply INTO THE PAST...lives..joons..incarnations..yugs...miracles....and NEGLECTING THE PRESENT !!! AND their "teachers" are the ones responsible...they keep on regurgitating the same old stories and tall tales and sakhis abourt KalYug the Raaksh.. meeting Guru nanak Ji..or satyug and dwappar yug....the man who became a Cow becasse he pointed out a runaway cow to the Butcher..
    They compeletly IGNORE Guru nanak ji Himself declaring in no uncertian terms that THERE are NO YUGS...dont blame the YUGS... since its the SAME SUN..the SAME MOON..the SAME EARTH...in Satyug..dwappar..kalyug.... and its the SAME PERSONS who keep on doing evil things....the COMMON DENOMINATOR is the "MAN"...an evil man will do EVIL no matter what the YUG...so instead of the YUGS..Concentrate on the MAN...as the GURUS DID.... for 250 Years the GURUS..worked on the MAN...not the YUG !! TODAY we must use the SGGS to work on the MAN....we certainly cannot change the YUG....yet we dont have the courage to say so....we CAN CHANGE THE MAN....!!! yet we want to talk about the YUGS...we still go on and on about Dhanna Ji and his stone...when Dhanna ji himslef never mentioned it at all.... so what ? the story is entertainment...whay throw it away...doesnt matter if a few sikhs then decide to visit the stone idols in Batu Caves to get what "Dhanna Ji" got ??
    Gurbani is full of Metaphors...we are seriously DISSECTING the "metaphotrs" instead of USING THEM as Guru ji did....to TEACH....
    This is the 21st Century.. information is going into overdrive...our youth are not stupid..they may keep their mouths shut in front of you....BUT deep inside they know what is what....its a crime to produce weaklings who convert at the drop of a hat...because they are forced to admit..miracles ?? yes you MUST have FAITH..THATS EXACTLY what the others say.... so whats the difference ?? The Difference is that the SGGS is a Jewel..and the Glass Beads may look like jewels but they arent and one doesnt need "faith" to see the difference. :inca:

    Lets show the JEWEL ONLY...and CREATE/DEVELOP...Professional JEWELLERS and Diamond Merchants..Parkhoos...not glass beads......snake oil peddlers !! The mould is in our hands..:happy:
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Gyani ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Very well put. No one could have said it better. Allow me to be one more box car of this Gurmat train whose engine is Ik Ong Kaar and yourself as its conductor.:wah:
     
  13. kulmahal

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    Well said veer jee. Great topic. Kulwant from Michigan!
     
  14. kanwal295

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    Guru Piare jio

    This is a very important topic that has been started on 'Naam' and 'Name', while in Gurmukhi Naam does not pose much of a problem, in English this is almost always translated as 'Name'. Countless translations have inserted Name for Naam and therein lies the error of understanding.
    God has many names (Kritam names as contained in Jaap sahib) and yet no name. The translators should have let "Naam" in Gurbani be referred to as Naam in translations as well. so everyone knows "NAAM" as an unchangeable word, just like people know "AUM" and now it has become a universal word.
    In most parts of Gurbani, Naam denotes the Immortal Essence of Reality, the Immortal Primordial Omnipresent Power, the Divine Energy, the All Permeating Divine Spirit, The Immortal Holy Life Force, The Holy Spirit, the Omnipresence, The Power of the Presence of God, the operating energy (Kelaah) in the creation, the ever ascending power of God (Chardi Kelaah).
    In only some places "Naam" indicates 'Name' eg "Naei laeeyai narak na jaei..." Asa di var.
    "Naam japoh....." would actually mean 'Practice the Power of the Presence of God' rather than just chanting.

    In humble service
    Dr Kanwal Jit Singh
     
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  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Dr Kanwaljit Singh Ji, Gurfateh Ji.

    That is the REASON why the Sikhs should use and popularise the SIKH VOCABULARY ..as is basis....

    Naam is Naam...
    Kirpan is Kirpan...and not ceremonial dagger..small knife..short blade..etc etc
    Gurbani is Gurbani....
    Kirtan is Kirtan...not just hymns..psalms..holy verses in music...
    Gurdwara is Gurdwara...not sikh church..sikh temple..sikh mandir..
    Amrit is Amrit....and NOT nectar..sweet water...ambroisal liquid..etc etc
    Guru Granth is Guru Granth...and NOT sikh bible..sikh holy book...
    Ardass is Ardass...not just any prayer..supplication...
    Guru is GURU....not just any teacher..
    Kangha is Kangha...is not just a comb....any comb....
    Kacha is Kacha ..and not short drawers..short pants..etc
    Karra is Karra..not just a bangle...
    Pyara is not just a beloved....

    These are all CONCEPTS rather than symbols......

    We would have less problems..less energy wasted in generalising..trying to explain / fit new and unique Sikhi concepts with already acepted moulds of other religions/cultures etc. We have reduced these Great Concepts to SUPERFICIAL OBJECTS/SIMPLIFIED SYMBOLS..in bending over backwards to try and explain them..accepted less than poerfect substitutes...

    Thank You for a well written contribution to the discussion...do please share more of your wisdom with all of us...
     
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  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Tejwant Singh Ji..
    Gurfateh.

    YES Ji..Ik Oan Kaar is the Engine... GURU NANAK JI SAHIB is the DRIVER of this Train....and there are many conductors....and passengers as well...

    As a small boy i used to hear a refrain sung in Gurdwara... Saadeh Guraan ne jahaz banaiyah...and there used to be apainting of a jahaaz on the swirling waters of the ocean with GURU JI sitting on the jahaaz and humanity climbing abroad to be saved.....and hundreds of small boats bringing in passengers to the Jahaaz of the GURU....its a sad commentary on our times that today we are all concerned with our own little boats...and simply refuse to acknowledge the JAHAAZ the Gurus made for our safe Passage. Any one who some how manages to get hold of a tiny boat starts hollering for passengers and begins rolling in haumaii as to just how many passengers his boat has garnered..and begins going off on a tangent...leaving behind the Jahaaz of SGGS/Gurmatt. The tragedy is such haumaii struck boatmen not only drown/wander the oceans without direction..... they also drown their passengers. This is what is happening in so called Gurmatt Forums...instead of leading their readers TOWARDS GURMATT...providing them with TOOLS of GURMATT from GURBANI....they lead their members wayward....into the wilderness...Hopefully ALL of US here in SPN will not let that happen....with Guru jis Kirpa and Swallii-Nazar....
    Thank you for the kind words as always...
     
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  17. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Nice to hear from you veer ji...
    Hope Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh Ji SDO and his jatha are fine..and still continuing their great sewa.....
    It would be great if you could share some of his articles on naam/Teeraths/Sant/ etc with the readers of SPN.
     
  18. sikhway

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    Sat Sri Akal!

    [1]
    Wah=wow
    Gu=darkness
    ru=light
    [2]
    Gu+ru=one who brings light to darkness
    +enlightner

    [3] WOW ENLIGHTNER [saying it in amazement like when a child sees room full of candy] is the closest translation i have come up with for Waheguru.
    It satisfies my mind and soul.

    [4] Wea re to be in awe of the Waheguru like Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji were.

    After ALL the creation was considered by Him and would be considered by us as God's creation and once we realize that how complex and beautiful it is and that it's His grace THEN only thing left to say is WOW ENLIGHTNER.

    [5] So when you are saying Waheguru think of the creation and be amazed and thankful in that one thought.

    SO to Recite his Naam is to recite Waheguru.
    NAAM is his GREATNESS.

    Name is like a person's given name but his naam would be his greatness or evilness [but for God it is Greatness only.]

    Like the song goes 'mitran da naa chalda'-

    People affiliate a person's DOINGS to his name which becoems NAAM [his/her greatness or lack of it]

    SO
    Name+attributes=NAAM

    Until something better is understood by this simple man, this thinking gives me an understanding of the philosophy.

    It goes on and fits most of the things I know.
    If not or if it does please email to sikh@telus.net
    J Singh Sidhu
    Principal
     
  19. Gurmit Singh

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    Dear Gyani Jarnail Singh Arshi,

    Waheguru jee ka Khalsa Waheguru jee kee Fateh

    After indicating the given Password and log in, I could not proceed further due to plenty directions just as excess of everything is bad. I will try again with the help of some
    other mates when they visit this week.

    As I understand, "Amrit, Baani, Naam, Shabd...." are synonymous. All these concepts are God's Virtues, which persons are required to attain by comprehending Gurbaani enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib from pages 1 to 1429. Naam used in the Guru Granth Sahib has
    nothing to do with worldly Names. Nor Naam Simran is Waheguru repetition like Robots or Parrots.

    I am sure you may have a Book: "Sikhism - Its Philosophy and History" edited by late Daljeet Singh and Dr. Kharak Singh, IOSS Publication 1997. In this Book, IAS Daljit
    Singh had explained this term under Chapter "Naam in Sikhism" at pages 37 to 56. You may wish to share this with your Gurmatt Students and then if there is any other
    specific Question/Doubt, we should again try to find answer through Gurbaani.

    Gurmit Singh (Sydney-Australia)
     
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  20. dr.gsmann

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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa! Waheguru ji ki fateh !!
    dear khalsa ji , in gurbani guruji has never mentioned about any concearn about worldly achievements , though he has taken examples from this naashwan world . Here nirdhan means the person who doesnt have blessings of GOD ,who is not his beloved one. and same stands for nithawan . In gurbani it is mentioned HUM RULTE FIRTE KOI BAAT NA POOCHTA !! here it dosent mean one is unnoticed in this useless world , the saying as said by Guruji himself means O'LORD it is you who cares for us. I may be wrong in interpretation please forgive me if I have done any blunders while expressing my views .
     
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  21. harbansj24

    harbansj24
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    Gurfateh.

    Naam Simran is the process of cleansing the soul. As the soul gets cleansed, a strange sense of pure joy or Chardian Kalan starts enveloping the person. Of coarse we being ordinary mortals do tend to slide back but Naam again puts one back on the track. It is a case of two steps forward and one step backward. As one gets into the state of Chardisn Kalan, the person gains confidence and becomes capable of providing for his legitimate physicsl needs. And if help comes his way he becomes capable of making proper use of it and does not squander it.

    If Bill Gates through his philanthrophy helps the needy his must understand that he is able to do this work because of HIS Hukam and not because he (Bill Gates) has desired it. If such a realisation strikes him he will experience the true bliss of Seva. This will bring him closer to the ONE and he will not get emotionally entangled with those God has led him to help.

    So both, those with wordly wealth and those without benfit equally through Naam Simran to whatever religion they may belong.

    In our Ardas we say, "Sikhan da man neevan, mat uchi, mat da rakha aap Waheguru"
    So those Sikhs who endeavour to keep the desires of their "Man" in control through superior "Mat" with the help of Naam then Waheguru helps them in their endevour.

    Whatever I have written above are not my original thoughts but are just recollections of my inferior intellect of Kathas heard in the company of Sadhsangat.

    May I be forgiven for any incorrect understanding.

    Harbans Singh
     
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