Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

General The Cab Driver - An Upbeat Story

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by Ishna, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    I've been travelling around the country lately for my new job. It's exhausting, but I feel like I'm in a good place and have the competence and experience now to totally rock the socks off my role, so it's good. :)

    taxi.jpg

    I've taken four plane flights in the last two days. Each flight gives me time to contemplate Gurbani and I've been working on a little project for that which I'll share in my next post.

    When I finally arrived back in my home airport last night, I was hoping my taxi cab would have a sardar ji driver so we could talk Sikhi. The taxi driver at the front of the line was not a sardar ji, but I got in anyway because you're supposed to take the taxis in the order in which they line up.

    Of course, the driver appeared to be of Indian (or similar) heritage. He had a short beard and and cut hair, and I couldn't see a kara since he was wearing long sleeves. I checked out his name tag, which was 'Rajdeep' and figured there was a good chance he was from north India. I always start the conversation by asking about the driver's name, because they invariably tell me where it/they are from, and if they say they're from northern India or Punjab, I start digging. :D

    The drive from the airport to my house takes about 30 minutes. And it wasn't long before Rajdeep and I were talking like excited schoolkids all about Sikhi. It was so good to be able to actually talk to someone who was interested in discussing it! Forget Gurdwara for open discussion about Sikhi - catch cabs! They are the new Gur Ghar :p

    Rajdeep told me he had uncut hair until he was about 12 years old, when he said he was watching too much TV and decided he wanted to cut his hair. His dad wasn't fussed about it, but his mum was a bit upset. They said they didn't mind him cutting his hair as long as he didn't eat meat. Turns out now he eats everything though, haha. He told me how his dad isn't too interested in religion, he is more concerned with the family, and how his mum and sister are quite devout. We had a laugh about how much they recite sukhmani Sahib.

    We talked about language, about holding the bani in your heart, about treating everyone equal, about pangat and the local Gurdwaras and when we pulled up outside my house he showed me pictures of him and his wife and friends at Harmandir Sahib, and a picture of his little boy.

    I described the awkwardness I feel in the Sikh community, and he actually gave me his number and said if I need any help at Gurdwara, he knows some people who can help me, and if I want to talk about Sikhi, I can message him. I thought that was very kind of him.

    It was a wonderful taxi ride and we really energised each other with Sikhi. That is what true sangat is all about. And not a turban in sight. O.O
     
    • Like Like x 3
    #1 Ishna, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2015
  2. Loading...


  3. Original

    Original
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    488
    Good morning Ishna,

    Thank you for sharing your taxi ride - reminds me of myself when I was young n handsome, away from home [UK] and on a lookout for a turbaned sikh [1st choice] or any chocolate colour, of Indian origin. In a way it helps reorientate oneself when away from home and is also, one of our evolutionary traits of "belongingness" to a particular social group rather than the general Joe Bloggs. And, in essence, socialisation of this sort pushes back or opens up if you like, barriers that would otherwise remain pretty much closed if a relative part is missing. However, the interesting observation on my part and the operative word on the whole is, "energised". And, your conclusion thereof, it being "sangat" - bang on !

    What does it tell you about yourself ? That you're an integral part of a whole, sargun nirgun, respectively, and it is the "inner voice", the yearning to be whole - taras piya main rehmat hoi satgur sajan [Rajdeep] milya, Nanak nam mila ta'n ji'van ta'n man theeva hariya [1429 SGGSJ]. Driving you constantly towards the true home of the soul - nam. Look at me, 06:11 in the morning, enjoying being around the nam just like a bumble bee does being around the flower for nectar.

    The search is on, if one doesn't find in one life, one does in another. It is time perhaps for you to find your true self, the self you have been separated from. And, that self is beautiful - believe me !

    Enjoy the day -

     
  4. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Well for me it's not about belonging to a group, or socialising with someone with a similar skin colour (I'm as white as they come). For me it was about exchanging ideas with someone about a topic we have a mutual interest in. :)

    I'm uncomfortable with the wording of 'true home of the soul', because I don't understand Sikhi or the world in those terms. Rather than my soul finding its true home, I'd use words like 'Driving you constantly towards maintaining awareness of Naam'. Me and Rajdeep were singing the song in that taxi at 9pm, with the smell of cigarette smoke in the cabin, and still managed to connect to that Naam-perspective that makes the mind boggle.

    For me, it's not about 'finding my true self' - it is about removing the veil of illusion that tricks me into thinking I am separate from It, when in fact we are all within It, we are all home, right now, we just have to realise it.

    And you too enjoy your day, sir.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Original

    Original
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    488
    ....Oops! didn't meant it like that ! On the whole, it was a jovial response to your invitation, but because you said, "..I was hoping my taxi cab would have a sardar ji driver..." I gave credence to your inclination and thereby homed-in on the particular [sardar] from the general [any other] make of society and attached special value to the overriding objective, sangat and energy, which were by n large, the crux of my response.
    I was talking in general from a perspective of the individual [you] and the society at large, it wasn't racial but social, a preferrence on your part, upon which I generalised. It is a fundamental assumption for sociology that what we are as individuals is decided by the particular society in which we live and by the aprticular social groups to which we belong.
    ...I'm sorry to have caused bit of a stir - didn't mean to. From both ideological and spiritual perspective it is, that, the immortal soul has a true home [sach khand]. But of course, if being aware is as same as experiencing - I rest my case.
    ...the boggle will one day b known and revealed and the mind forever silenced.
    ...I couldn't agree more, but what of the metaphysical, the transcendental, shouldn't that be communicated with or experienced or known when the opportunity is avialable? What of the world of the soul, surely something that is of non-matter cannot call this its home, can it ?

    Goodnight n Godbless
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #4 Original, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2015
  6. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Thanks for your reply :) I edited to fix the quotes - something went awry with the formatting.

    I will respond later as my lunch break is now over.
     
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    In my teen age years spirinting towards more youthfulness, Sikhi was the first thing in my mind and also the last. My black turban was a calling card to dates to the Playboy club on Park lane and many others in Mayfair where only one Sikh with a turban was roaming around mingling with others. Somehow, I never felt a tinge of racism from the very beginning which was more luck than skills and perhaps I was too young, a bit successful at that age which gave me chances to make friends outside the Sikh community.

    Ishna ji, I love your ride and I love more your scavenger hunt for " the birds of a feather" where one can get into deep discussions which makes people get closer as the walls are demolished with a common core. I hope you get to meet him again one day and expand this understanding.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    I'm sorry, I can be quite literal in my thinking and it bit me during this exchange. :)

    No stir. We are sharing ideas. It's all good.

    To me, sach khand is not an actual place but a state of mind. In fact, to my mind, all of the paurhis of japji Sahib between 34 and 37 are describing stages of the mind as it climbs the ladder to become jeevan mukt.

    What is your opinion?

    What do you mean by "mind"?

    Hmm. *ponders*

    I'm not 100% sure I know what you're talking about when you say 'metaphysical' and 'transcendental'. *whispers* I'm not very smart, but don't let that get around :p

    I believe that there is reality (which I suppose could be the 'transcendental'?) and there is Maya, which is the false system we build in our minds due to the effect of having this created experience that we find ourselves in. I think the goal of having a created experience is, on one hand, to experience the creation, and on the other hand, to recognise the Reality.

    I don't see the need for an explicit 'communication'.

    I also don't believe in the matter/non-matter duality. I don't believe in a super-consciousness. To me, consciousness is an emergent property of this arrangement of atoms which is currently a person. It is that which is misguided by Maya, or can become Gurmukh.

    I think Akaal Purakh can't be described. I don't know. This is the limit of my current awareness and it's murky at this point. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Original

    Original
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    488
    Dear Ishna Ji

    Sorry for the late response !

    The truthfulness found in your recent email is commendable. Trust me, like Christ said, "ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you"-- here goes !

    If your view be correct then bani [34-37] would be a mere mental enterprise and not the divine reality of the transcendental world of Nanak's proclamations. This would mean, not dhur ki bani I, but, man ki bani I ? Hmn, waste of time for Nanak, don't you think ? Dichotomising the soul and the mind and setting up the two camps for manmukh n gurmukh, to what endeavours? Definite parado

    I'm a servant of Gur Ghar, my views n opinions fall short against the dictates of SGGSJ. Road to sachkhand is faith and not the mind. Look what Gur Nanak says, Ang 722:

    ਤਿਲੰਗ ਮਹਲਾ ੧ ॥ ਜੈਸੀ ਮੈ ਆਵੈ ਖਸਮ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਤੈਸੜਾ ਕਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਵੇ ਲਾਲੋ ॥
    As the word of the Husband Lord comes to me, so do I express it O'Lalo.

    ਧੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਆਈ ॥ ਤਿਨਿ ਸਗਲੀ ਚਿੰਤ ਮਿਟਾਈ II Ang 628
    It is the Bani of God, not mine; it has descended from the primal Lord.

    Because the mind is a creature of the physical world and only accepts matter of fact and logic in a rational setting, on witnessing "anhad shabd" it is silenced forever because it cannot comprehend.

    Metaphysical is Greek for that which is beyond the natural world [do check, my knowledge is bit rusty]. Transcendental is a state of being beyond the parameters of time n space. For example, sachkhand [the chautha padh or turyia] is a state of being beyond, conscious, sub-conscious and the unconscious states of being.

    Yes there is that reality and you're right it is the transcendental - the satnam. Let us move away from this concept of maya for the moment and consider everything as being part n parcel of AP, including maya [theoretically speaking maya is considered as the spouse of mahadev, i.e Madho - name of God]. You the separated soul [eternal reality] have had so many experiences and will continue having them within physical existence [good, bad n the ugly] - but, there will be the one, the spiritual experience [one Nanak speaks of at Sultanpur Lodhi] which Gur Ghar is inviting you to have ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ II Ang 378 - Time to meet your other half from whom you're separated.

    Neither did Nanak [sultanpur lodhi], but, what to do if the Lord takes fancy and say, "hey Ish, I wanna talk" - that is what Gurbani is.

    Don't ! Go cut-up the body [human] and see if you can find the soul, you won't, coz it's non-matter. There is no duality but divinity. There is no super-consciousness per se, just an expression used to define an elevated state of being. So far science hasn't been able to 100% describe the biological basis for consciousness, but that is not say, future science won't. Conversely, if we were to believe that consciousness is exclusively confined to the workings of the brain then what will become of the immortal soul ? It to this end, which Sikhism points, consciousness surviving the death of the physical body. Look what an arch atheist, A. J. Ayer [philosopher] went through - In 1988, the year before his actual death, Ayer choked on a bit of smoked salmon, passed out, and his heart stopped for full 4 minutes. When, with the help of medical staff, he regained his consciousness, he reported so-called near-death experience. Ayer is quoted as having told his doctor that he would have to revise his opinions on life after death and God, since the experience was of the creator.


    Guru Gobind ventured to capture AP through nouns and in so doing, gave AP 1200 to 1400 different names {Jap Sahib] but, to no avail, alas, he settled on the adjective and the verb. No, you're setting the sail, be of firm determination, AP will be knocking on your door soon, trust me. Besides, cognitive development is not innate nor learnt of others, but from own experience, and that too when the mind is ready.

    It is God who is guiding you to a place where "perfection" awaits.

    Goodnight -

    PS pls overlook errs n expressions - rushed it a bit, sorry ! Believe in youself [sargun] and see the results
     
    • Like Like x 1
    #8 Original, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2015
  10. Ikk Khalsa

    Ikk Khalsa
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    144
    Speaking of Australian cab drivers :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Dear Original Ji

    Thank you for taking the time for such a reply. :)

    I'm sorry but I don't understand "dhur ki bani I" and "man ki bani I". My knowledge of Punjabi/Gurbani language is quite limited.

    Our state of mind is how we interact with and relate to the world. It is part of the mind-body-spirit trilogy. Without a mind, we would be automatons.

    To my mind, those paurhis of japji Sahib broadly paint this picture:
    1. We find ourselves in this physical world. Here we make our paths. This creation is real, not an illusion.
    2. Here, we can learn from so many sources, and the best learning is spiritual wisdom.
    3. When you learn spiritual wisdom, things start to make sense. You start to hear the naad, i.e. perceive (with your mind, intuition, heart) the reality, the rhyme and reason to life and the universe.
    4. You become humbled with this spiritual wisdom, and blossom with it. In fact: ਤਿਥੈ ਘੜੀਐ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਮਤਿ ਮਨਿ ਬੁਧਿ ॥ The intuitive consciousness, intellect and understanding of the mind are shaped there.
    5. Then you know what to do, you can act with fearlessness, confidence and contentment, conquer your thieves.
    6. Finally you can see nothing but Naam, you can act in nothing but hukam, you see reality for what it is, like Nirankar does, because you realise there is nothing but Akaal Purakh and that you and everything else is nothing but It.
    This is no 'mere mental exercise'. It is, as I've said a hundred times before, holistic.

    I did not invent the manmukh vs gurmukh states - it is there in the Gurbani. A manmukh is someone who can't/won't learn from Guru Sahib and put what they learn into action. A gurmukh is the opposite.

    And I can't dichotomise the soul and the mind - there is no individual soul.

    With respect, I don't understand the relevance of your tuks here.

    I hope this doesn't happen to me then, because I don't want to be a dribbling vegetable.

    Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it,[1] although the term is not easily defined.[2] Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:[3]
    1. Ultimately, what is there?
    2. What is it like?

    Yes, everything, including Maya, is within Akaal Purakh, There can be no other place. You don't find an ocean wave without it being in the ocean.

    How can anything be separated if we just agreed it is all part and parcel. This is the stumbling block, my friend. There is no unique, individual soul that is separated from its home; there is no home to go to - everything is already in place. The separation is metaphorical to describe how we *think* we are separate - going home/meeting the other half/being ravaged by the Husband Lord is when you break through the veil of illusion and see the reality right here and now,

    Gurbani is the inspired word of those who have torn the veil. They know, and they teach, and they know that what they say is true and that only Nirankar is doing the speaking.

    But there is no soul, so moot point. This body is like a glove, and Akaal purakh is the hand inside the glove. Akaal Purakh is also the glove. Mind. Blown.

    According to Gurbani there can be nothing else, nothing separate. Where does this idea of a unique little ball of non-material consciousness, existing in some other place that is not of Akaal, come from? :(

    Then what use is Gurbani if we can't learn from it? For sure, book smarts are not street smarts, and we have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, to really experience and understand.

    Perhaps, but this kind of wording doesn't seem to pluck my mental strings. But that might just be personal taste. :)

    I hope I have not offended you or hurt your sentiments with my direct communication, Jio. That is certainly not my intention.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Original

    Original
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    488
    Your welcome !
    That's ok .. perhaps one day you will !
    Life as it were was, once without mind, it was a process of the interaction between matter n energy described by the laws of physica n chemistry. Nevermind, moving on, has this spirit got a homeland, make, model, shape, colour, status,etc...body n mind can be quantitatively n qualitatively communicated, what of spirit ? I mean, does it die, what happens at and after death ?
    Why is it in the Gurbani ? [pls don't feel intimidated or indoctrinated, I'm probing for valid qualifications - you're the future of Sikhi].
    Is there another Ishna ?
    The Gurbani's source is not Nanak - Baba Ji is telling Lalo, "I'm not composing, its coming direct [dhur] from AP". And, how sweet when you study the original scriptures at Kartarpur, there you find the whole gurbani written in a continuous chain system of writing wherein in all the words in a line are joined together, but why ? Because when AP spoke through Nanak [conductor of energy or as an instrument through which energy flowed] it was to be captured live, direct from the source without human [mind] intervention. The subjective element of "form" [grammer, punctuation, etc] was avoided to record it as "objective" as it could be and to space word it, would've meant the engagement of the mind thus making it subjective/objective.
    Thank you Guru Ji, never got it as good as this when at uni as an undergraduate philosophy/law student. But hey, this really helps and pretty candidly put.
    ...you may forget your mother, she won't [separation, the serverance of the one from the other, umbilical chord], from a physical view point. The mool [origin] is what underrpins Sikh thought and how the soul separated from Ikonkar, from a spiritual view point [an ideology, Sikh, you dont have to accept].
    • think back to your earliest memory.
    • Now project forward to the day of your death. Although, it's impossible to know when this will come, but it certainly will.
    What you have just surveyed might be called your "life-span", or the time when this entity you call your "self" exists. Either side of that life-span is there something ? Indeed, it will be very mysterious if there weren't anything because modern humans have existed for more than 100,000 years or so, and more than 100,000 billion have already lived and died, what of their spirit, where did that go or where did it come from in the first place?

    What is it that gives rise to a subjective sense of self made of matter and energy ?

    There are two paths to unravel this mysterious sense of the self and they are; physical and spiritual.

    Physical

    Scientists explain that the self must be a collective property of the neurons in your brain, which have mostly stayed with you throughout life, and which will cease to exist after you die. This bundle of neurons have made a permanent home within your bodily frame which has given rise to a subjective sense of selfhood and has labelled it self "IG". This IG bundle is unique [there is only 1 Ishna] and cannot occupy another space [consciousness] at the same time (01-09-2015) and therefore can only recall experiences which the bundle has gone through within that IG frame (body).

    Spiritual

    Things we can touch have no permanence [this world is not real, read hymns of 9th master]. There is nothing we can hold on to in this physical world of matter, only by letting go can we truly possess what is real. This intuitive sense of self is an effortless and fundamental human experience. But is nothing more than an elaborate illusion [maya]. The real self is formless and is both within and without - it is inconceivable. The mind has created this sense of the subjective self [IG] - let go and you will begin to feel the real [anhad shabd].

    Our primary purpose is to move away from the physical perceptions and conceptions, only then can we experience the "absolute" self - the one without form.
    Who might they be ? Suerly not the authors of SGGSJ for they shun physical existence as temporary, illusionary [maya] and untrue [koor]..kiv sachara hovi'ay kiv kura tuta pal [Ang 1, pauri 1] ?
    Young Lady, what material is the spirit ? Besides, we don't have to believe in electricity, we can see the evidence in the light bulb, nor, do we have to believe in other forces of nature to reinforce their very existence. Take gravity for example, we experience it in our everyday life. Similarly, if you were to believe in the spiritual you, you may bump into Chaz on a spiritual excursion, ha !

    Ang 1123 says, ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ II God's abode - again, it's a question of belief and not interpretation. From what I read so far [your train of thought] - situation n circumstance have over time brought you to a point where you have begun to see through your own shades the Sikhi you believe. Stick to it, why grease a wheel that aren't squeaking.
    Oh come on ! You're the brave new world ! Remember the wise words of Admin Singh, "unity in diversity" - Aussie Sikhi [you] American Sikhi [Veer, TSM] and UK Sikhi [Chaz, H n me] - lethal cocktail, Nanak n the gang are probably somersaulting on account having found universal trustees.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    Dear Original Ji

    You are most welcome to response to this post, but please be aware that this is likely my last reply on this topic for a little while. Although I have greatly enjoyed this discussion, I worry that my alternative views might be giving some people the wrong idea about Sikhi.

    I don't know exactly what happens after death. Neither did Guru Ji, according to this shabad: http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=KeertanPage&K=885&L=14&id=37780

    It is so beautiful.

    I'm a little bit confused. It's in the Gurbani because Guru Sahib observed that there are different kinds of people in the world and wrote about them?

    I'm gonna say no...

    All this time I thought it was written like that because that was the writing style of the day. And there is still grammar throughout Gurbani. But I do like where you're coming from with this.

    I'm not sure I'm making myself clear.
    1. Gurbani says there is no other place but Ik Onkar
    2. So how can 'a soul' be separated from Ik Onkar?​

    Do you ask a wave in the ocean what existed before it became a wave and then what exists after it flows back into the ocean?

    I think I've run out of metaphors.

    Our human experience - the experience of being part of the creation.

    Very nicely written, veerji. :)

    To my understanding, the real self (as you put it) is Akaal Purakh Itself. There is no other 'self' except the illusory one that exists as a product of creation.

    Yes, Guru Sahiban.

    They didn't 'shun' physical existence. They encourage living in it, experiencing it, cultivating contentment with detachment and living a householder or soldier-saint lifestyle. This is one of the hallmarks that sets Sikhi apart from Jainism, some schools of Sanatan Dharma, Buddhism and most yogis!

    My understanding is that the physical world is "real" enough, and that Maya is the falseness - it is a false perspective. It is not right to become attached to material possessions - although they are real (they are physically there) they are transient objects and essentially worthless. Additionally, being attached to your family (wife, children, grandchildren) is false - the love that exists there is transient, and when you're all dead you'll all be forgotten eventually. The reality behind this illusion is that Ik Onkar is the only infinite thing, and attachment to It is lasting.

    The spirit is Ik Onkar, Sat Naam, Karta Purakh, Nirbhao, Nirvair, Akaal Moorat, Ajooni, Saibhang, Gur Prasaad. The spirit that animates me is exactly the same as the spirit that animates you - there is no uniqueness or individuality.

    You are trying to equate the Sat Naam with qualities of the creation. I don't think you'll ever succeed - Akaal Purakh cannot be measured.

    Likewise, dear Original Ji.
     
    #12 Ishna, Sep 2, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015

Share This Page