- Aug 18, 2005
iqlµg mhlw 5 Gru 1 (723) Tilang, Fifth Mehl, First House:
Bibi Harsimrat Kaur Khalsa
Guru Granth Parchar Mission of USA
(510) 432-5827 firstname.lastname@example.org
<> siqgur pRswid ] One Universal Creator God by the grace of the true Guru:
Kwk nUr krdM Awlm dunIAwie ]
“The Lord infused His Light into the dust, and created the world, the universe.”
Notice that this first phrase does not mention God until in the second half of this verse. Guru Granth Sahib’s teaching about God is a contemporary version of explaining the idea of God. We don’t see God, but we can see the results of His hukam in operation by looking at His wonderful creation. What is the meaning of dust? Dust is the fine, dry particles of earth or other matter, so tiny and light that they can be raised and carried by the slightest wind Small particles that people consider worthless. If you examine the tiniest particle of dust, you will understand that the light of God causes this dust to exist. Every tiny particle in the universe is filled with the infinite light of God. But we don’t notice the light of God right away. We look at everything in our environment and interpret every encounter according to our limited perspectives. Our eyes only see so much, and all our senses are limited to those of a human being. Length, width, height and distances are infinite attributes of the universe. From the tiny particles of dust that we can see through a very power microscope, science has discovered the atom, the molecules, the patterns of electromagnetic activity. Everything is made up of these tiny particles that are patterns of God’s energy. It is not our energy, but all belongs to God. We live in His mansion rent free, but we tend to forget that nothing truly belongs to us. The first thing a human learns after birth is spacial awareness. He becomes exposed to simple shapes and colors. He learns his mother’s smell, voice, tasty milk, warmth, and cold. He learns about pain and pleasures first by living day to day. As he gets older, he starts to experiment with touch sensations, and more complicated things such as counting, mass, and others feelings. When older, he begins to experiment with shapes and size, crawling into tunnels, building blocks, and art. When mature, he masters the basics of learning. If he is deprived of learning in his youth, he will be a slow learner when he gets older, because if you don’t use your brains properly, you will lose it. If his diet is poor or he takes drugs, alcohol, and smokes, his brain will fry, and his children will be the victims, too.
Asmwn ijmI drKq Awb pYdwieis Kudwie ]1]
“The sky, the earth, the trees, and the water - all are the Creation of the Lord. ||1||”
These are the first things man notices outside, the sky, the earth, the trees, and the water which is the mainstay of life. Man begins to learn about his home from the womb to the family’s home to the outside world of no limits. The sky is mentioned first in this verse, because the sky is obviously the first thing we realize that is infinitely enormous. We can not see the entire earth all at one time, because we are so small and the earth is round. We would have to fly a plane around it in infinite angles to get the complete view, but never all at one time. After we are amazed at the infinite sky and the wondrous land of earth, we notice the heights and shapes of various trees. We learn which ones produce good fruit, which ones produce poisons, which ones produce medications, and which ones we judge as useless. Nothing in creation is useless, because everything follows the biological and natural environmental cycles to sustain all living things. This balance of the ecology is part of the hukam of God as well. Just as there are various great things that we notice, so is there only one Creator. Who created the sky and the trees is the same one who created the water. Without water nothing can live. Without the hukam of God, not even a mountain can stay together. Just as a fish needs water to survive, so does everything depend on this Kwk nUr krdM provide for rotations of the planets and all molecular activities in the Universe. The universe is always unstable in composition, but the only stable aspect of it is will of God, yet we judge God and think things are disastrous when things do go our way. Happy new and good news is only in the mind. The hukam of God is always good news. God’s hukam is always the victor fateh. If we life in His hukam, obeying His will, then we begin to experience this fateh. When we accomplish this, then we start to control our five vices.
bMdy csm dIdM Pnwie ]
“O human being, whatever you can see with your eyes, shall perish.”
There is no such thing as any matter being perpetual and still in one place. Electromagnetic activity is always in operation, breaking down particles, reuniting with other particles, converting chemical substances, changing weathers, planetary interaction, gravitational pulls, explosions in the outer space, nova stars, meteors, the cooling of the sun and births of new suns. Even a photograph will eventually break down and dry up over time. Machinery can be created to last for a very long time, but nothing runs forever. Parts need repairing, or refueling. Everything in the universe requires something else for extended existence. We must learn what we need, when we need, and how to use God’s natural resources with Guru Gian wisdom, so that we do not hurt ourselves or others. This is what Guru says in the following: (707, jYqsrI, mhlw 5)slok ] igRh rcnw ApwrM min iblws suAwdM rsh ] They are involved in their beautiful houses, and the pleasures of the mind's desires. kdWc nh ismrMiq nwnk qy jMq ibstw ik®mh ]1] They never remember the Lord in meditation; O Nanak, they are like maggots in manure. ||1|| mucu AfMbru hBu ikhu mMiJ muhbiq nyh ] They are engrossed in ostentatious displays, lovingly attached to all their possessions. so sWeI jYN ivsrY nwnk so qnu Kyh ]2] That body which forgets the Lord, O Nanak, shall be reduced to ashes. ||2|| pauVI ] Pauree: suMdr syj Anyk suK rs Bogx pUry ] He may enjoy a beautiful bed, countless pleasures and all sorts of enjoyments. igRh soien cMdn sugMD lwie moqI hIry ] He may possess mansions of gold, studded with pearls and rubies, plastered with fragrant sandalwood oil. mn ieCy suK mwxdw ikCu nwih ivsUry ] He may relish in the pleasures of his mind's desires, and have no anxiety at all. so pRBu iciq n AwveI ivstw ky kIry ] But if he does not remember God, he is like a maggot in manure. ibnu hir nwm n sWiq hoie ikqu ibiD mnu DIry ]6] Without the Lord's Name, there is no peace at all. How can the mind be comforted? ||6|| Here is what else Guru Ji teaches us: (707) slok ] Shlok: crn kml ibrhM KojMq bYrwgI dh idsh ] One who loves the Lord's lotus feet searches for Him in the ten directions. iqAwgMq kpt rUp mwieAw nwnk Awnµd rUp swD sMgmh ]1] He renounces the deceptive illusion of Maya, and joins the blissful form of the Saadh Sangat, the Company of the Holy. ||1|| min sWeI muiK aucrw vqw hBy loA ] The Lord is in my mind, and with my mouth I chant His Name; I seek Him in all the lands of the world. nwnk hiB AfMbr kUiVAw suix jIvw scI soie ]2] O Nanak, all ostentatious displays are false; hearing the Praises of the True Lord, I live. ||2|| pauVI ] Pauree: bsqw qUtI JuMpVI cIr siB iCMnw ] He dwells in a broken-down shack, in tattered clothes, jwiq n piq n Awdro auidAwn BRimMnw ] with no social status, no honor and no respect; he wanders in the wilderness, imqR n ieT Dn rUphIx ikCu swku n isMnw ] with no friend or lover, without wealth, beauty, relatives or relations. rwjw sglI isRsit kw hir nwim mnu iBMnw ] Even so, he is the king of the whole world, if his mind is imbued with the Lord's Name. iqs kI DUiV mnu auDrY pRBu hoie supRsMnw ]7] With the dust of his feet, men are redeemed, because God is very pleased with him. ||7|| slok ] Shalok: Aink lIlw rwj rs rUpM CqR cmr qKq Awsnµ ] The various sorts of pleasures, powers, joys, beauty, canopies, cooling fans and thrones to sit on rcMiq mUV AigAwn AMDh nwnk supn mnorQ mwieAw ]1] the foolish, ignorant and blind are engrossed in these things. O Nanak, desire for Maya is just a dream. ||1||
dunIAw murdwr KurdnI gwPl hvwie ] rhwau ]
“The world eats dead carcasses, living by neglect and greed. ||Pause||”
We live in the realm of “something must perish for the other to survive.” Matter feeds on matter. Nature appears to be cruel, because it is the law of survival of the fittest. Just as animal compete with each other, so do humans copy animals for the sake of survival. But we do not need to be greedy to the point that we have too much and the other has nothing. Man was created in a certain way that he needs other people for survival. If families do not interbreed with non-relatives, then the children will be deformed at birth. Some people are farmers, some are soldiers; some are construction workers; some are electricians and doctors; some are leaders of society. The purpose of complex social interaction is for the survival of the whole. We should not be eating each other, neither should we allow ourselves to be prey to evil doers. Guru Ji has taught us the miri-piri of sainthood and soldier. We are a saint by learning and accepting God’s hukam at taught in Guru Granth Sahib Ji. We become the effective powerful soldier to fight our five vices with the Guru Gian not only to defend ourselves from evil people, but also from our five vices. In order for us to protect our community or gurdwara sahib, we must cooperate for the benefit of all people. We must compromise by not breaking promises, especially if the other side is still being faithful. We must not use fanatical fundamentalist brainwashing or lying to win the majority over to fraudulence and deceptions for greedy gain or showing off with leadership power.
gYbwn hYvwn hrwm kusqnI murdwr bKorwie ]
“Like a goblin, or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat.”
In the Muslim religion forbids eating meat that has died from animal attack or natural death, or that was not slaughtered a certain way. They are also not allowed to eat pork. How does a goblin or beast eat meat? They drag it to a safe place or defend their capture from other predators. Then they gorge themselves as fast as possible, leaving nothing behind, they digest as much as they can. They have no concern for cleanliness or what they leave behind. They feel no shame and no consideration for other starving creatures around them. They fight to get the first or best share of the meat as well as the choice of the females for breeding. Their children and the weaker member of the group are lucky if anything is left behind for them to eat. Greedy spouses, and leaders act the same way. What is the significance of forbidden dead meat? Meat can represent the lures of maya, or doctrine that teaches against the hukam of God. Kache bani is any doctrine or text that disagrees with the Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Sangat is being polluted today with some famous katavachiks that rarely teach Guru Granth Sahib, and all they do is preach magic stories like Janamsakhi. There is nothing wrong with telling a Janamsakhi story, as these are a collection of legends from our rich culture. The purpose of Janamsakhi is to encourage good ethics. Any religious text is allowed to be preached in the Gurdwara for comparative purposes. But the main authority of us Sikhs is not Baba Ji doctrines or Hindu prayers that are recited after Bhagat Ravidaas’ Artee. Our authority is Shri Guru Granth Sahib in which Shri Akal Takht Sahib is supposed to follow in guiding the world Sikh community is educating the people of Gurbani, helping the needy to be independent, and protecting the Sikh identity along with our Shri Guru Granth Sahib.
idl kbj kbjw kwdro dojk sjwie ]2]
“So control your urges, or else you will be seized by the Lord, and thrown into the tortures of hell. ||2||”
If we do not learn how to control our heart’s urges into the lures of maya, then how can we lead a family or a community into success? It is very difficult raising children. If you only follow your emotions by spoiling the child with everything he wants, the child will stop screaming and crying. Parents love peace and quite. But if we spoil the child, then the child will not learn how to behave. He will begin to have serious psychological problems, then when he becomes an adult, he will be greedy, seeking selfish power and fame. What are the tortures of hell? Hell is traditionally thought of as a place under the earth to punish the souls of wicked people. Once in Hell, there is no escape. But in Sikhism, Hell is not a place; it is a condition of the soul.
vlI inAwmiq ibrwdrw drbwr imlk Kwnwie ]
“Your benefactors, presents, companions, courts, lands and homes”
From conception in the womb, the fetus becomes accustomed to his comfortable environment, warm water amniotic fluid, the lovely sound of mother’s heartbeat. Then when it is time to be born, he most likely panics, not understanding the constricting muscles of the womb against his body. Then the great pressure on his head as is comes out of the birth canal. The heart beat pounding rapidly. As soon as he is born, he feels the cold, the separation from the warm sack. Everything is strange to him; and he is totally helpless. His arms, legs, fingers, and neck muscles are too weak to move as freely as in the water. He misses being fed through the umbilical cord. It will take time for the newborn to adjust to his new environment. He was never aware that one day he would be born into a new dimension of existence. But he had to go through the birth canal, against his will. Just as birth is part of the hukam of God, so is death. The difference between birth and death is that one does not know he is about to be born, it is only total confusion. But when we grow up, we are aware that we all will die one day. Many of us ignore death until our later years. But nobody knows when death comes. We foolishly become over attached to our riches, our possessions, our positions, our loved ones, and those who we benefit from. Many people lose their peace of mind over the death of someone close or over the loss of something more valuable to them than God. Guru Nanak teaches us that nothing goes with us after death. Only the hukam of God constantly surrounds us. jn ipsr pdr ibrwdrW ks nys dsqMgIr ] AwiKr ibAPqm ks n dwrd cUM svd qkbIr ]2]“Wife, sons, parents and siblings - none of them will be there to hold your hand. And when at last I fall, and the time of my last prayer has come, there shall be no one to rescue me. ||2||” (Tiland M 1 ang 721) After death, nobody and nothing follows us into the next dimension of existence. The wife represents lust and intimate attachment, having a son represents physical accomplishments and power of control over others lives, the father represents provider for the family, and the brother represents comradeship and fellowship. The family structure is important to the individual, for without a good family structure, a person would grow up with emotional problems. When we die, we need to accept “changes in life.”
jb AjrweIlu bsqnI qb ic kwry ibdwie ]3]
When Azrael, the Messenger of Death seizes you, what good will these be to you then? ||3||
dunIAw mukwmy PwnI qhkIk idl dwnI ] mm sr mUie AjrweIl igrPqh idl hyic n dwnI ]1] rhwau ] “The world is a transitory place of mortality - know this for certain in your mind. Azrael, the Messenger of Death, has caught me by the hair on my head, and yet, I do not know it at all in my mind. ||1| |Pause||” The world as well as the entire universe always changes but God always remains true and complete. Everything constantly goes through the cycle of being recycled, changing its molecular state, according to all influences in the universe. The nature of God’s hukam operates all the natural laws of cause and reaction. Birth and death are also a part of this reality. The angle messenger of death represents “God’s hukam that all living beings experience birth, as well as death. We experience a certain trauma during birth, as we leave the comfortable womb, unwilling to pass through the uncomfortable birth canal, not aware of what is going on. When we die, we don’t want the leave this world, either. But there is no difference between birth and death, all are part God’s hukam. If we blend with the teaching of Guru Granth Sahib, then we understand that this Angle of Death is just the natural laws of nature taking their regular course. We are not aware of this, and we are overly engrossed in our ego. We tend to put the science of janam and maran aside, because we are either scared or too busy caught up too much in maya expensive, materialistic gain and pleasures that don’t last long. It’s a wonder that the Angle of Death grabs only the hair, the crown of one’s beauty and pride. Azrael is from the Hebrew language “Ezra’el”, meaning, “helper of God.” The hukam of God always follows His own will.
We also learn from our fifth Guru, kqMc mwqw kqMc ipqw kqMc binqw ibnod suqh ] “Temporary is mother, temporary father, temporary son, temporary pleasures of one’s wife.” Mother is mentioned first, because the first intimate live contact a person has after birth is Mother. Mother is the main natural nourisher and main caretaker of his needs, for he is completely helpless in infancy. The second contact is Father who traditionally is considered to be physically stronger, the main financial provider and defender of place of habitat. The third most important person in one’s life later becomes one’s spouse. Man is biologically and physically yearning for the wife. Man is created to crave the pleasures of an attractive, faithful wife, who will taker provide for him, the offspring, and the home. We have cravings, but it is the Divine Provider God who we really desire to understand. We all are born with the desire to learn about reality around us. kqMc BRwq mIq ihq bMDv kqMc moh kutMb´qy ] “Temporary is brother, friend, companion, and temporary the relative who is emotionally attached to the family.” Next in line to closeness is the sibling, whom the child grows up with, his first peer relationship. Then the importance of friend follows. He begins to associate with those of common interest. Afterwards, he develops more sophisticated relationships with those whom he relies on for help. When he finds good friends, he lessens his attachment to his family since childhood and begins a new family and more complex social interactions.
hvwl mwlUmu krdM pwk Alwh ]
“The Pure Lord God knows your condition.”
God is complete and flawless. We cannot support ourselves from inside. We rely on outside sources, such as food, water, shelter, medical herbs. No inventor would create something without considering how long it would last, and what it will need to continue to function. Every inventor thinks carefully before starting his creation, and he does the best he can. God does not have to think and plan, because He is one with wisdom and power. Humans think, but God does not have a brain full of cells. He is formless and superior to His creation, because He is the hukam of the creation. He is not bound by time, place, or dimension, because He houses all of these in His infinite space. We lean in the fifth Guru Ji’s Sanskrit Sahba: slok ] (705-19) Shalok: Awid pUrn miD pUrn AMiq pUrn prmysurh ] “In the beginning, He was pervading; in the middle, He is pervading; in the end, He will be pervading. He is the Transcendent Lord.” And Guru Nanak Dev Ji agrees: Awid scu jugwid scu ] True In The Primal Beginning. True Throughout The Ages. hY BI scu nwnk hosI BI scu ]1] True Here And Now. O Nanak, Forever And Ever True. ||1|| Again Guru Arjan Dev Ji confirms this in his Sekeskriti Shabad Gataa: hoXo hY hovMqo hrx Brx sMpUrxÚ ] God was, is, and shall always be. He sustains and destroys all. ( Ang 1361) And Bhagat Jaidev agrees: Bv BUq Bwv smib´AM prmM pRsMnimdM ]2] “In the past, present and future, He is always the same; He is the embodiment of supreme bliss. ||2||” Things constantly change their molecular state, but God is always the same. So what is the meaning of “same”? It means same in identity, or unchanged in character or nature. It’s a wonder that things in nature change, but the laws of nature never change. The laws of nature are the supreme, infinite commands of God, called hukam.
bugo nwnk Ardwis pyis drvys bMdwh ]4]1]
“O Nanak, recite your prayer for the holy people. ||4||1||”
What is prayer? It is a verbal act of acknowledging a source beyond one’s self for assistance. It is a means of verbal communication from the devotee to the object of worship. there are many types of prayer. There is personal request, begging, praising, worshipping, confession, and intercession. What is the purpose of prayer? It is to participate with God in the cycles of the Universe. We want to do certain things that we do not benefit, because we care for others. We escape the trap of our five vices and start to participate with God in the maintenance of the universe. He does not need us, but we become His tools of showing His mercy. Guru Nanak devoted his entire life to unite with God for the enhancement of humanity. He cared for others. He was not interested in being a pardan or secretary for a large congregation. He was not hungry for fame or money. His inheritance was what God gave him – all of reality. So how did Guru Nanak pray for the holy people? Who is holy? Why didn’t he pray for all people? The evil doers did not want his prayers. They believed they did not need anyone’s help, not even God’s. They begin to deny all of existence the way it truly is. They become blind in their illusions. This shabad does not say that Guru Nanak does not pray for wicked people. This shabad is just showing us that the holy people benefit from Guru Nanak’s prayer, because they chose to accept the Hukam of God. They chose the right door to enter, rather than the door of illusion. So how did Guru Nanak pray? I don’t think he fell to his knees. His entire lifestyle was the ardaas prayer. He accomplished more by doing and praising and preaching that by only praying in isolation all the time. His desire and devotion was the ardaas. This verse does not say prayers, but the singular prayer. One prayer to God is powerful enough to shake the heavens. If we have to keep repeating the same prayer, then we act like God is deaf or uninterested to help. So what is the actual prayer of Guru Nanak that he recited? It is the continual Gurbani that he meditated on, learned, and preached. It is the prayer of appreciation to God and the prayer of hope for the world.
In conclusion, when we learn the meanings in the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji we start to act like Guru Nanak Ji did. We begin to lose our ego and thirst for righteousness. We start to have the same burden to help humanity to become happy, healthy, and successful. What is the purpose of visiting Guru Granth Sahib in the gurdwara sahib? The visit should not be to fulfill the obligation. We are not required to visit Guru Granth Sahib or go to any gurdwara. Many of us visit so that others do not gossip that we are not following the Indian custom. People do not know the meaning of respecting Guru Granth Sahib. I am a big supporter in encouraging people to visit the gurdwara sahib, as this encourages others to gather as a community with the commonality of the light of God and His divine wisdom. My merely visiting and bowing to Guru does not do anything for you, and God does not care whether you see Guru Granth Sahib or not. God does not need you to show Him respect. When we learn the wonders of God through our Great Guru Ji’s wisdom, then we automatically want to show our respect by bowing, sponsoring a langar, and helping the poor. We need to understand why we want to show the respect. The showing of respect is more sincere when we have a reason to. What is this reason? Simply, the mercy and love of God as many have sacrificed their lives to provide us our special Guru Granth Sahib teacher. But I am not against showing respect for no feelings, because the young people will learn by the examples, since this type of namashkaar is a good discipline. We Sikhs have the right to show their appreciation of God any way they please, as long as it is not against the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib. I feel that the highest form of namashkaar is learning the banis of Guru Granth Sahib Ji and understanding them, then putting your knowledge into practice heart and body. One can not truly put Guru Ji’s wisdom into practice until he truly understands and accept it. Then his five vices no longer control him. Our whole lifestyle day to day tells God how much we truly do namashkaar. Nanak’s name is mentioned after every shabad written by our Guru’s not just because they give Guru Nanak the credit for starting the Guruship legend for each generation, and not just for accrediting Guru Nanak as the author, but for expressing is their way of saying they join in with his prayerful and holy devoted lifestyle. Guru Nanak has humbled Himself to the point that he no longer exists, but the Gurbani that he left for us. He become one with God and gave up his individual identity before the master creator of the universe. He totally blended in with God’s hukam, and that is why he was free from his five vices. He realized he was just a product of that khak noor infused in billions of patterns of dust. Everything became understood as the product of the hukam of God. When he realized this beauty, he became the super human that he was, but he did not hide it. He shared this revelation with the entire world. When Guru Arjan Dev Ji composed this shabad, he realized all of this is due to the sacrifices that Guru Nanak made, so he also became a willing sacrifice, no matter what the cost, even to be tortured so that humanity will get its chance to learn, develop, heal, prosper, and help others. This is what learning Shri Guru Granth Sahib is all about. We don’t learn Guru Ji only for the wisdom and success, but for the benefit of all people, regardless of race, creed, or status. The hope for humanity is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to learn the wisdom of Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Many Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons are going door to door, dressed in Indian clothes to impress people, so that they can teach them the Bible. Even though their philosophy is a bit extreme or too fundamentalist, at least they are doing their best to teach about God. But what are we doing? Bollywood ragies that master the raags but never bother to learn viyakaram shood paath and the meanings of the very shabads they sing; holy looking granthis. I realize they are doing their best on the platform, but unless they have the understanding of the Gurbani, then they will only be doing their best on the stage. God did not create us just for doing our best and not improve. He wants us to learn more and find areas in our lives for self improvement so that we can live better and be more effective in spreading the love of God. God has already spread His love: you can see it in nature. But we, not just ragees and granthis must also come to this revelation. We don’t need to find converts to Sikhism, but we do need to give people the opportunity to learn the universal message of the hukam and love of God.