- Meet SPN'er in Focus -
- (Fortnight Jan 16, 2010 to Jan 31, 2010) -
- (Fortnight Jan 16, 2010 to Jan 31, 2010) -
Username : Manbir Singh
What is your name in the real world beyond the Sikh Philosophy Network?
Please tell us about your first experiences of Sikhi (either in your family or as a convert).
I was born in a religiously inclined family. My childhood was spent in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. We were always encouraged to participate in Sikhi related activities. My father S. Khazan Singh Ji was actively involved in stimulating Sikh youth to learn and spread Sikhi virsa. In this process regular Gurmat Training Camps were organized for Sikh boys and girls. The learning and experience of Sikhi for me was through these activities. My parents encouraged me to learn and participate in Kirtan.
What events and experiences inspired you to continue on your journey learning about Sikhism, and deepening your understanding?
Sikhism for me has always been a simple uncomplicated way of life. It has made my understanding of this life very easy as compared to other human beings around me. I feel our Gurus made our living very simple by getting us rid of worthless superstitions. Learning is a continuous process in Sikhism and its through understanding Gurbani.
If you could name one thing about Sikhism that is most important to you (something that you would never give up) what would it be?
The most important part of Sikhism for me is belief in One Akal Purkh and to try to live in His Hukam. The teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji help me to live in His Hukam. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is my Guru and I would never give up my faith in Him.
Were there individuals who were role models, who taught you how to be and live as a Sikh?
I do not recall any individual whom I can mention as a role model. But certainly I feel my father and my grandmother did have influence on my growth as a Sikh.
Who may have motivated you to learn more about Sikhism?
My father always motivated me to learn about Sikhism.
Did you ever experience barriers as you continued on your journey?
No, I never experienced any obstacle to continue being a Sikh and participating in other activities.
Thinking of yourself today as a Sikh, how do you live Sikhism in your own way?
For me life as a Sikh is a continuous spiritual education. For me teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji are the Rehait I have to follow. I try to understand the message of Gurbani with my limited knowledge and try to take help from other sources. I find Gurbani Kirtan as the best mode of being nearer to Guru and Waheguru. I am lucky to be part of a family where everyone enjoys doing kirtan. I do realize now that Kirtan is indeed a priceless jewel.
How do you understand Seva to the Guru and to the panth, in your own words and in your own experience?
We recently posted a Gurbani Shabad by Gurmat Gian Group ‘Sa Sewa Keete Safal Hai Jit Satgur Ka Man Manay’- Fruitful and rewarding is that service, which is pleasing to the Guru's Mind. This beautiful Shabad gives very good sikhya what Sewa should be for a Sikh towards his Guru. He most important Sewa is to follow on the teachings of our Guru.
What is the most difficult part of being a Sikh?
Its always easier to say and difficult to do. We do keep repeating day in and day out the great teachings of our Guru but when it comes to walking on those our bias always over powers us. The very basic of Sikhism ‘To treat every human being as equal’ is something we find too difficult to follow. Our personal and political bias always over shadows our actions and thoughts.
The Sikh Philosophy Network wishes to acknowledge the generosity of Manbir Singh ji in giving this interview with this shabad
ਸਾ ਸੇਵਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਸਫਲ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਨੇ ॥
saa saevaa keethee safal hai jith sathigur kaa man mannae ||
Fruitful and rewarding is that service, which is pleasing to the Guru's Mind.
ਜਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤਾ ਪਾਪ ਕਸੰਮਲ ਭੰਨੇ ॥
jaa sathigur kaa man manniaa thaa paap kasanmal bhannae ||
When the Mind of the True Guru is pleased, then sins and misdeeds run away.
ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਜਿ ਦਿਤਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੂ ਸੋ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਸਿਖੀ ਕੰਨੇ ॥
oupadhaes j dhithaa sathiguroo so suniaa sikhee kannae ||
The Sikhs listen to the Teachings imparted by the True Guru.
ਜਿਨ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਿਆ ਤਿਨ ਚੜੀ ਚਵਗਣਿ ਵੰਨੇ ॥
jin sathigur kaa bhaanaa manniaa thin charree chavagan vannae ||
Those who surrender to the True Guru's Will are imbued with the four-fold Love of the Lord.
ਇਹ ਚਾਲ ਨਿਰਾਲੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਗੁਰ ਦੀਖਿਆ ਸੁਣਿ ਮਨੁ ਭਿੰਨੇ ॥੨੫॥
eih chaal niraalee guramukhee gur dheekhiaa sun man bhinnae ||25||
This is the unique and distinct life-style of the Gurmukhs: listening to the Guru's Teachings, their minds blossom forth. ||25||
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