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To Become a Better Person

Discussion in 'Spiritual Articles' started by vsgrewal48895, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. vsgrewal48895

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    Mar 12, 2009
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    ਜੇ ਲੋੜਹਿ ਚੰਗਾ ਆਪਣਾ ਕਰਿ ਪੁੰਨਹੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਸਦਾਈਐ ॥ ​

    Je loṛėh cẖanga āpṇā kar punnhu nīcẖ saḏā▫ī▫ai.​

    If you yearn for goodness, then perform good deeds and feel humble.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 465-16

    The tenets of all faiths in general are supposed to teach every one the principles for becoming a better person but they have become more involved in controlling the followers by institutionalizing their faith. While one is thinking about getting rid of his/her faults, flaws, and character defects, one should also be concentrating upon developing positive traits. Guru Nanak expresses his views in Raag Maru;

    ਪਰਵਿਰਤੀ ਨਰਵਿਰਤਿ ਪਛਾਣੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਬਦਿ ਘਰੁ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ ਕਿਸ ਹੀ ਮੰਦਾ ਆਖਿ ਨ ਚਲੈ ਸਚਿ ਖਰਾ ਸਚਿਆਰਾ ਹੇ ॥

    Parvirṯī narviraṯ pacẖẖāṇai.Gur kai sang sabaḏ gẖar jāṇai. Kis hī manḏā ākẖ na cẖalai sacẖ kẖarā sacẖi¬ārā hė.

    One who realizes what he has to possess, and what he has to abandon, associating with the Guru, comes to know the Word of the Sabd, in his self. Those who do not call anyone bad in life are true and judged to be genuine by the True Akal Purkh. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1027-11


    After developing a positive attitude with an open mind, acknowledging one’s character defects and praying to “Akal Purkh” for their removal and subduing the lower instincts of lust, anger, greed, attachment, and vanity, one is ready for developing some positive traits. These traits are pre-requisites for the development of the virtues or higher instincts. There is a battle that goes on inside people. The battle is between two things;
    1. Evil.
    2. Good.
    Evil is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

    Good is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

    The question is which one wins?

    “The one you feed”

    To make positive traits as a second nature of you is to practice them says Ravidas;

    ਕਹਿ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ਖਲਾਸ ਚਮਾਰਾ ॥ ਜੋ ਹਮ ਸਹਰੀ ਸੁ ਮੀਤੁ ਹਮਾਰਾ ॥

    Kahi Raviḏās kẖalās cẖamārā. Jo ham sahrī so mīṯ hamārā.

    Says Ravidas, the emancipated shoe-maker: whoever is a citizen there, is a friend of mine. -----Ravidas, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 345-16

    Other examples;

    1. Smile at the check-out counter in the supermarket and others you come across each day.
    2. Say “Good morning” to the bus driver or the people you encounter.
    3. Don’t explode if your children muddy the carpet.
    4. Greet your late arriving spouse with a joke rather than a nasty epithet (Egg head).
    5. Try to judge you’re self rather than others says Guru Angad in Raag Majh;

    ਨਾਨਕ ਪਰਖੇ ਆਪ ਕਉ ਤਾ ਪਾਰਖੁ ਜਾਣੁ ॥ ਰੋਗੁ ਦਾਰੂ ਦੋਵੈ ਬੁਝੈ ਤਾ ਵੈਦੁ ਸੁਜਾਣੁ ॥

    Nānak parkẖė āp ka¬o ṯā pārakẖ jāṇ. Rog ḏārū ḏovai bujẖai ṯā vaiḏ sujāṇ.

    O Nanak, if someone judges himself, only then is he known as a real judge. If someone understands both the disease and the medicine, only then is he a wise physician. -----Guru Angad, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 148-8

    The more you try to be pleasant, humble, think positively rather than negatively, turn to humor instead of anger; it will make the behavior more natural and attractive. If you continue to act like a really honest, humble, and nice person, you will be one before you know it and will be surrounded by others in appreciation.

    ਮਿਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਤਤੁ ॥

    Miṯẖaṯ nīvī nānkā guṇ cẖang¬ā¬ī¬ā ṯaṯ.

    Sweetness and humility, O Nanak, are the essence of virtues and goodness.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 470-13

    One should take a personal inventory daily. The kind of honest tally of events and feelings allows you to analyze your actions after the emotions of the moment have subsided.


    Ask your self the following questions as you look back on each day:

    1. Did I have a plan for the day, and did I follow it?
    2. With whom did I spend most of the time?
    3. Did I take time to work on my spirituality?
    4. Where did I spend most of the time?
    5. What was the quality of the judgments I made?
    6. Did any thing threaten my serenity today? What?
    7. Did I feel my attitude toward humanity was constructive today?
    8. Was I honest in all my dealings?
    9. Have I been fair in all my interaction with the others?
    10. Were there situations today, where I was wrong or unreasonable?
    11. Did I make amends?
    12. What good things happened? How did I react to them?
    13. Did any bad things happen? What were they? How did I react?
    14. What do I feel I have accomplished this day?
    15. What would I have liked to do that I did not do? What would I have done differently?


    1. Free your heart from hatred.
    2. Free your mind from worries.
    3. Live simply.
    4. Give more.
    5. Expect less.

    SHARING, GIVING, AND RECEIVING should be the motto. One cannot receive until and unless one gives. Guru Nanak in Raag Sarang advises on sharing your food with others earned by hard and honest labor.

    ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥

    Ghall Khaie Kich Hathun Day; Nanak Raah Pachaneh Say.

    The person, who earns through hard work, and then gives away some in charity, has realized the true path of light. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1245-19

    However Guru Arjan cautions in Raag Gauri about good deeds and pride;

    ਅਹੰਬੁਧਿ ਕਰਮ ਕਮਾਵਨੇ ॥ ਗ੍ਰਿਹ ਬਾਲੂ ਨੀਰਿ ਬਹਾਵਨੇ ॥

    Ahaʼn¬buḏẖ karam kamāvanė. Garih bālū nīr bahāvanė.

    Good deeds done in the pride of ego are swept away, like the house of sand by water.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 211-3

    In short, banish pride, worldly love, and envy. Bear not ill-will toward the others, so others would not bear ill will towards you. Walk humbly and speak civilly to all.

    ਭਾਉ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਨੀਚੁ ਸਦਾਏ॥ ਤਉ ਨਾਨਕ ਮੋਖੰਤਰ ਪਾਏ॥

    Bhaou Bhagat Kar Neech Sada-ay, Taou Nanak Mokhantar Pa-ay.

    Through loving devotional worship and by abiding in humility, O Nanak, salvation is attained. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 470-8

    Guru Amardas ponders on trust in Raag Sarang;

    ਪਰਾਈ ਅਮਾਣ ਕਿਉ ਰਖੀਐ ਦਿਤੀ ਹੀ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰ ਥੈ ਟਿਕੈ ਹੋਰ ਥੈ ਪਰਗਟੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥

    Parā¬ī amāṇ ki¬o rakẖī¬ai ḏiṯī hī sukẖ ho¬ė.Gur kā sabaḏ gur thai tikai hor thai pargat na ho¬ė.

    Why keep what is held in trust for another? By giving it back, peace is found The Word of the Guru's Sabd rests in the Guru; it does not appear through anyone else.
    -----Guru Amardas, Raag Sarang, AGGS, Page, 1249-9

    Guru Nanak in Raag Malar gives the examples about the association of the lower instincts obstructing the way of goodness;

    ਰੂਪੈ ਕਾਮੈ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਭੁਖੈ ਸਾਦੈ ਗੰਢੁ ॥ ਲਬੈ ਮਾਲੈ ਘੁਲਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਮਿਚਲਿ ਊਂਘੈ ਸਉੜਿ ਪਲੰਘੁ ॥ ਭੰਉਕੈ ਕੋਪੁ ਖੁਆਰੁ ਹੋਇ ਫਕੜੁ ਪਿਟੇ ਅੰਧੁ ॥ ਚੁਪੈ ਚੰਗਾ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਵਿਣੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਮੁਹਿ ਗੰਧੁ ॥

    Roopai Kaamai Dosti Bhukhai Saadai Gandh, Labai Maalai Ghul Mil Michal OoNghai Sa-urh Palangh, BhaNukai Kop Khu-aar Ho-ay Fakarh Pitay AnDh, Chupai Changa Nankaa Vin Naavai Muhi GanDh.

    Beauty and sexual desire are friends just as hunger and tasty food are tied together. Greed motivates the search for wealth. One who is drowsy can sleep will use even a tiny space as his bed. Anger barks and brings ruin on oneself, if one is blindly pursuing useless conflicts. It is good to be silent. O Nanak, without the Name, one's mouth spews forth only filth. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Malar, AGGS, Page, 1288-13

    Kabir cautions everyone not to override the warning of his conscience before doing any- thing in his Slokes:

    ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਜਾਨੈ ਸਭ ਬਾਤ ਜਾਨਤ ਹੀ ਅਉਗਨੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ਕਾਹੇ ਕੀ ਕੁਸਲਾਤ ਹਾਥਿ ਦੀਪੁ ਕੂਏ ਪਰੈ ॥

    Kabīr man jānai sabẖ bāṯ jānaṯ hī a¬ugan karai.Kāhė kī kuslāṯ hāth ḏīp kū¬ė parai.

    Kabir, the mortal knows everything, and knowing, he still makes mistakes. What good is a lamp in one’s hand, if he falls in to well? -----Kabir Sloke, 216, AGGS, Page, 1376


    There are three types of persons: those, who confess their own faults and mention the excellence of others, are the highest type. Those who highlight their own excellence and decry the faults of others are worse. Those, who parade their own faults as excellence and deride the excellence in others as faults, are the worst. People of the last type seem to rule the day in our time. Guru Nanak in japji leaves up to Akal Purkh’s Grace despite one’s efforts;

    ਜੇ ਜੁਗ ਚਾਰੇ ਆਰਜਾ ਹੋਰ ਦਸੂਣੀ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਨਵਾ ਖੰਡਾ ਵਿਚਿ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਨਾਲਿ ਚਲੈ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਚੰਗਾ ਨਾਉ ਰਖਾਇ ਕੈ ਜਸੁ ਕੀਰਤਿ ਜਗਿ ਲੇਇ ॥ ਜੇ ਤਿਸੁ ਨਦਰਿ ਨ ਆਵਈ ਤ ਵਾਤ ਨ ਪੁਛੈ ਕੇ ॥ ਕੀਟਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੀਟੁ ਕਰਿ ਦੋਸੀ ਦੋਸੁ ਧਰੇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਿਰਗੁਣਿ ਗੁਣੁ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਣਵੰਤਿਆ ਗੁਣੁ ਦੇ ॥ ਤੇਹਾ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਸੁਝਈ ਜਿ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਣੁ ਕੋਇ ਕਰੇ ॥

    Jė jug cẖārė ārjā hor ḏasūṇī ho­ė. Navā kẖanda vicẖ jāṇī­ai nāl cẖalai sabẖ ko­ė. Cẖanga nā­o rakẖā­ė kai jas kīraṯ jag lė­ė. Jė ṯis naḏar na āvī ṯa vāṯ na pucẖẖai kė. Kītā anḏar kīt kar ḏosī ḏos ḏẖarė. Nānak nirguṇ guṇ karė guṇvanṯi­ā guṇ ḏė. Ŧėhā ko­ė na sujẖ­ī je ṯis guṇ ko­ė karė.

    Even if you could live throughout the four ages, or even ten times more, and even if you were known throughout the nine continents and followed by all, with a good name and reputation, with praise and fame throughout the world- still, if the Akal Purkh does not bless you with Its Glance of Grace, then who cares? What is the use? Among worms, you would be considered a lowly worm, and even contemptible sinners would hold you in contempt. O Nanak, God blesses the unworthy with virtue, and bestows virtue on the virtuous. No one can even imagine anyone who can bestow virtue upon God.

    Virinder S. Grewal
    Williamston, MI
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