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Guru Granth: A Portable Homeland

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by Claudia G. S. Martins, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Claudia G. S. Martins

    Claudia G. S. Martins
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    Jul 23, 2004
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    This article was published at www.sikhe.com by the occasion of Guru Granth Gurgaddi Divas, last October .


    Guru Granth: A Portable Homeland

    Claudia Gaspar Soares Martins

    Fri Oct 19, 2001

    The words in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are infinitely plastic because they are infinitely meaningful. God is infinite, so is God language. Via creative interpretation Sikh Gurus dismantle and reassemble individual words, phrases and verses to pour new meanings into old vessels, turning an apparently static text into one that is ever in formation.

    Gurbani verses give us luminous examples. A radical reading lifts a short verse out of its dense and dated context to imbue it with lasting religious significance. Even deprived of political sovereignty the Sikhs keep the source of their strength by taking refuge in the Gurbani. What matters can be carried in one's head. The Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a portable homeland that fills the void.

    But it requires daily and lifelong attention to remain effective. Hence, there is supreme importance of study, individually and communally. Plumbing its depths and expanding its meaning is the right way to keep the Sri Guru Granth Sahib a living Guru and always invigorating.

    It is important to stress the ideal of uninterrupted study till the very end of life. One should never desist from the study of Guru's teachings, even at the moment of death, that is, on the day of death one should be occupied with the Gurmat. Even on our deathbed, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, a touch of eternity in the midst of a passage and imperfect world, serves as a bridge to the eternal Bliss of the world beyond with the Lord. To study at death is to affirm the reality of life eternal merge with Naam.

    In other words, we die as we lived, with Gurbani in our lips. We must be grateful to Guru for letting us go ceaselessly from the beginning to the end of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. A life of the mind sustains our engagement and growth.

    The world endures solely by virtue of the breath of Guru's words. Discipleship and yearn for the Blessed Vision of the Lord's Darshan determine our destiny. The weight of the world rests on the recitation of Gurbani.


    Note from the author:

    The fundamental purpose of life is the search for truth. Although not encouraging proselytism, Sikhs have the universal commitment of propagating the Truth contained in the SGGS.

    Why not bring Sikhi to Brazil, a country with 165 million people ? Like in other countries, they are living in a growing violent society where the hope horizons are going far away.

    I believe Sikh community can start the project even in the midst of difficult times. It may grows largely because I believe Sikh scriptures have the potential to transform people and the world around, promoting peace, justice and inner enlightenment.


    Claudia Gaspar Soares Martins is an Urban Geographer and is a former lay minister of the Anglican Church. She lives in Brasil and is interested in supporting Sikh missionary work in that country.

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  3. Arvind

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    Jul 13, 2004
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