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Which Path To The Shabad Guru: Scholarship Or Spirituality?

Luckysingh

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I think 'awareness' comes with spiritual experience.

But then again we get 2 extremes-

1st)- We get the learned or scholars that 'insist' because of their spiritual experiences.

They then may use such experience to endorse certain areas of gurbani.

2nd)- On the other hand we have the learned and scholars who have spent years studying gurbani and they can help to teach others via adaptive and constructive thinking methods.

Professor Sahib is one such respected who I believe has claimed that he NEVER had any such spiritual experience.

Where does the common man of a Sikh go to understand ??

Well, I know you can't just sit around waiting for a spiritual experience to happen !

It is only sensible to start by learning from the scholars and sangat that have spent years and years of studying, which they didn't just do for self-gain !

We can't discourage younger and newer Sikhs by telling them that without spiritual experiences, they will have less awareness and understanding.

But we should make an effort to understand and learn from the sangat that has.
 

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spnadmin

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Re: A Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions?

Luckysingh ji

I believe that your questions and the topic are so important that they deserve a separate thread.

Which Path to the Shabad Guru: Scholarship or Spirituality ? Moved from Conscious Creator in Sikhi and Other Faith Traditions?'
 
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Harry Haller

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Re: Which Path to the Shabad Guru: Scholarship or Spirituality ?

I think 'awareness' comes with spiritual experience.

But then again we get 2 extremes-

1st)- We get the learned or scholars that 'insist' because of their spiritual experiences.

They then may use such experience to endorse certain areas of gurbani.

2nd)- On the other hand we have the learned and scholars who have spent years studying gurbani and they can help to teach others via adaptive and constructive thinking methods.

Professor Sahib is one such respected who I believe has claimed that he NEVER had any such spiritual experience.

Where does the common man of a Sikh go to understand ??

Well, I know you can't just sit around waiting for a spiritual experience to happen !

It is only sensible to start by learning from the scholars and sangat that have spent years and years of studying, which they didn't just do for self-gain !

We can't discourage younger and newer Sikhs by telling them that without spiritual experiences, they will have less awareness and understanding.

But we should make an effort to understand and learn from the sangat that has.
I do not think Sikhism has anything to with either spiritual experiences or years of studying. Sikhism is to be lived, enjoyed, on a daily basis, one only has to follow the bani and live it, through this, and the odd mistake you, you find an enlightenment and spiritual connection that is unavailable to those that merely 'study'. If study is looking as deep as possible, yet not using what you find to help others, than what is it for?

No one can teach what is in the SGGS, it is a very personal journey that each of us has made barely scrap of, yet as sangat, it all adds up to a whole.

Why do I need a spiritual guide, or a teacher when I have this forum...
 

findingmyway

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Re: Which Path to the Shabad Guru: Scholarship or Spirituality ?

I think 'awareness' comes with spiritual experience.

But then again we get 2 extremes-

1st)- We get the learned or scholars that 'insist' because of their spiritual experiences.

They then may use such experience to endorse certain areas of gurbani.

2nd)- On the other hand we have the learned and scholars who have spent years studying gurbani and they can help to teach others via adaptive and constructive thinking methods.

Professor Sahib is one such respected who I believe has claimed that he NEVER had any such spiritual experience.

Where does the common man of a Sikh go to understand ??

Well, I know you can't just sit around waiting for a spiritual experience to happen !

It is only sensible to start by learning from the scholars and sangat that have spent years and years of studying, which they didn't just do for self-gain !

We can't discourage younger and newer Sikhs by telling them that without spiritual experiences, they will have less awareness and understanding.

But we should make an effort to understand and learn from the sangat that has.
I am confused as to why the 2 are mutually exclusive?

Also where did you read from that Professor Sahib Singh didn't have a spiritual experience? If you read his life story it is full of love and connection for 1 Ong Kaar so not sure about that information.

Study is essential as without understanding the message Guru ji is giving us we cannot live the life of a Gurmukh. We would never sit our Grandfather in a corner of the room, dress him up with nice clothes, bow to him but ignore what he is saying. Yet we do exactly that with SGGS. SGGS provides instructions and guidance on how to live as a Gurmukh. Not following this despite knowing, and not trying to feel the connection makes it an academic exercise. Therefore, study and spirituality are essential but not in the ways commonly portrayed. The Guru's message is not mystical, but meant for everyone.
 

Luckysingh

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Re: Which Path to the Shabad Guru: Scholarship or Spirituality ?

I am confused as to why the 2 are mutually exclusive?

Also where did you read from that Professor Sahib Singh didn't have a spiritual experience? If you read his life story it is full of love and connection for 1 Ong Kaar so not sure about that information.

Study is essential as without understanding the message Guru ji is giving us we cannot live the life of a Gurmukh. We would never sit our Grandfather in a corner of the room, dress him up with nice clothes, bow to him but ignore what he is saying. Yet we do exactly that with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji provides instructions and guidance on how to live as a Gurmukh. Not following this despite knowing, and not trying to feel the connection makes it an academic exercise. Therefore, study and spirituality are essential but not in the ways commonly portrayed. The Guru's message is not mystical, but meant for everyone.
The OP was actually in response to a statement in another thread.
The mention was-
Might I humbly add "and spiritual experience/awareness" to the above -- the context from which Gurbani was written. To truly understand the intention of Guru Ji we would need to share that as well.
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/interfaith-dialogues/40419-conscious-creator-sikhi-other-faith-traditions-20.html
My response was to the 'spiritual experience/ awareness' as a need for understanding gurbani in addition to literal and poetic terms.

The 2 stated are not mutually exclusive but were to point out that One endorses gurbani through spiritual experiences and the other through study and understanding.

The comment about Prof Sahib ji was in contrast to someone who endorses by way of spiritual experience/awareness !
I believe that he has claimed somewhere that his ''how do I know??'' explanation was based on learning, study and understanding and not some spiritual experiences as claimed by others.
I may be wrong here with exact information and technicalities but I'm sure that I am not wrong in contrast to the one's that know and understand solely via (1)

As Adminji has stated, this is a good topic itself about How and which path one should choose whether-
Scholarly or Spiritual. or even a little of both!!
 

akiva

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Sangat Ji

By way of analogy -- I think we can picture it to a student of Art. One can study art in university, learning to appreciate the techniques of the Artist, the different styles, and so forth. One can achieve great understanding about art. But until one actually picks up a brush and starts painting one will never BE an artist.

One is Objective and to one degree or another distant from the subject -- one is Subjective and experiential - involved with the subject.

(This is the problem with the Orientalist academic school that studies mid-eastern/eastern religion - especially the mystical traditions. Since they are removed from the actual Practice they misunderstand/misrepresent the subject. Hence the "accepted" teaching that Sikhi is a blend of Hinduism and Islam.)

So to with Sikhi. I think it's clear that Guru Ji's intention was for his Sikhs to "pick up the brush", so to speak.

Hence the idea of Sant-Soldiers. The repeated imperative to "Jap Naam". Guru Ji repeatedly encourages us to "pick up the brush", so to speak.

But keep in mind that most student artists have to study technique, style, and art history at first -- so to with Sikhi.

Humbly offered,
Akiva
 

akiva

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Very true.

We're all in different places and have different potential. When I was sitting Zazen (a long time ago) there were people there who had been sitting for decades who weren't making significant progress, and others who made serious progress in a short time.

Karam and Gur Prasad obviously play major roles in our progress

The only certain thing is that, if we don't try, we won't make ANY progress.

Akiva
 

chazSingh

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Some people can study as much as they like but without talent they'll still not be very good artists.

yup....study is good..it gives us inspiration, pointers, instructions...certain stories, gurbani etc will pierce our hearts...and then we can mediate on that gurbani.

you can plough the field with love, compassion, forgiveness and seva towards others whilst also doing amrit vela...

this will open up our hearts for the divine moment when we receive His grace ... which has always been there ...we;ve just been blocking it out.
 

charanjit

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Lucky singh surely the question is for you to answer. You yourself possibly know the answer to your question but perhaps you are asking for other peoples thoughts and then you will decide according to the answer which suits your likes and dislikes.*

Another question you need to ask is why you are asking other people surely you should be able to find out for yourself if you truly wished to. Asking others is a firm of laziness giving others responsibility over our lives and decisions.*

Another question to be asked is why do you want a spiritual experience. Have you looked at others and thought I would like that. Is it that we are disappointed with our own little existence that we want more experience, we make more and more money, own houses cars get married have children are still dissatisfied and then we want the final everlasting experience the spiritual experience. And then we ask for guidance as we want what they have.*
Others can only give us their experience whether spiritual or other this will always be second hand and useless as it is an approximation rather than the real thing.*

Why don't Sikhs just stop following other people and set out for themselves and find out for themselves rather than anothers second hand experience whether I'd these professors or these gurus?

Surely this will be lasting and not ephemeral?*

"Sikh" to me is a verb meaning to learn. When I say I am Sikh I mean I am learning. And learning always means negating the existing norms and finding out for yourself whether it's real. It always means dropping the old. Just as Nanak did the old needs to go out of the window. Unfortunately Sikhs are riddled with fear and stick to their prescribed norms. Sadly Sikhism may have died with the true revolutionary guru Nanak. Everything he has written and compiled is now second hand and can be imitated by the reader but it'll never be the real.*

Sikhs should stop worrying about translations interpretations and how to live life and spend more time finding out what it means to live with vitality and to live fearlessly without fear and to live rightly. But this should be found out by the individual by negating all else and finding out for himself.*

Best regards and best of luck!

Charanjit
 

akiva

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It might be my ignorance (of which there is a lot...)

Doesn't Sikh (as a noun) mean to be a student or disciple?

In this case, specifically, a student or disciple of Guru Ji?

That would give rise to two different types of "sikhs" -- sikhs (used as a verb) who are "learners" -- much more general -- and "Sikhs" (used as a noun) who are "learners" AND disciples of Guru Ji -- much more specific (and a subset of the first)

Respectfully,
Akiva
 

Ambarsaria

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It might be my ignorance (of which there is a lot...)

Doesn't Sikh (as a noun) mean to be a student or disciple?

In this case, specifically, a student or disciple of Guru Ji?

That would give rise to two different types of "sikhs" -- sikhs (used as a verb) who are "learners" -- much more general -- and "Sikhs" (used as a noun) who are "learners" AND disciples of Guru Ji -- much more specific (and a subset of the first)

Respectfully,
Akiva
Akiva ji I may be wrong but I believe Sikh in Punjabi is a noun and a verb as follows,
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <w:DoNotOptimizeForBrowser/> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]-->
ਮੈਂ ਪੇਂਟ ਕਰਨ ਦਾ ਤਰੀਕਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਲਿਆ / I learned the technique to do paint.

ਮੈਂ ਇੱਕ ਸਿੱਖ ਤੁੱਰਿਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਦੇਖਿਆ / I saw a Sikh gentleman walking.
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]-->So one learning (Sikh) is called a learner (Sikh). My Punjabi writing is little rusted so there may be errors in the letter accents in the words.

We do need to recognize that spiritual learning or having experiences may come easy for some and harder for others. This is no different than the example of paining and artist used in the thread. But I do believe everyone is enabled to some extent from birth. Spiritual spark perhaps is the source of life and development in humans.

Sat Sri Akal. :sippingcoffeemunda:
 

Luckysingh

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Lucky singh surely the question is for you to answer. You yourself possibly know the answer to your question but perhaps you are asking for other peoples thoughts and then you will decide according to the answer which suits your likes and dislikes.*

Another question you need to ask is why you are asking other people surely you should be able to find out for yourself if you truly wished to. Asking others is a firm of laziness giving others responsibility over our lives and decisions.*

Another question to be asked is why do you want a spiritual experience. Have you looked at others and thought I would like that. Is it that we are disappointed with our own little existence that we want more experience, we make more and more money, own houses cars get married have children are still dissatisfied and then we want the final everlasting experience the spiritual experience. And then we ask for guidance as we want what they have.*
Others can only give us their experience whether spiritual or other this will always be second hand and useless as it is an approximation rather than the real thing.*
Don't worry !! I know my answer !!
In my case, I know that it's equally both.
I wouldn't even be half the Sikh that I am today if it were not for spiritual experience and awakening !
But this is me and my experience only.

The experience gives you the 'awareness' and the 'know'-you begin to KNOW.
Yet, the knowledge gained by learning helps to answer the 'how and why you know it !'

For me, both of these help my understanding and this understanding becomes stronger and firmer with time.


But for someone starting out or wanting to start on the spiritual path, I can't say ''wait, until the experience and time comes''- because that is just a worthless comment and would only have value for certain individuals.
 

Ambarsaria

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sorry folks I revised an earlier post and rejigged for greater completeness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Review backgrounds of the people who are included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and you will find the answer within,

[SIZE=+2]The scripture contains compositions of 6 Sikh Gurus (the first five Gurus and the ninth Guru), seventeen saints/Bhagats (Kabir, Farid, Namdev, Ravidas, Beni, Trilochan, Jaidev, Sundar, Parmanand, Sadna, Ramanand, Dhanna, Pipa, Sain, Soorday, Bhikhan, Mardana); poets Balwand & Sata and eleven Bhattas or poets of the Sikh Gurus (Mathra, Jalap, Harbans, Talya, Salya, Bhal, Kulh Sahar, Nal, Kirat, Gayand, Sadrang).[/SIZE]
(http://www.gurbanifiles.org/intro.html)

So the question is how many were spiritual or scholarly or both or other?

Answer: Spirituality cannot be delimited even though certain tools of study and contemplation may help.


  • One example would be to be knowing the language, in this case it being Punjabi.
  • Knowing the environ and in this case it being Punjab.
  • The emphasis in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji about Sadh-Sangat/"Companty of pious" is another example of learning through association and sharing
I believe we will be remiss if we don't record in this dialog the great direction given in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji through our Guru ji's and that is about the following,

Quote:
<table border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" width=""> <tbody><tr> <td padma_font_family_property="tohama,verdana,geneva,lucida,'lucida grande',arial,helvetica,sans-serif" class="alt2" style="border:1px inset"> ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ / gur parsāḏ ==> blessing of the God/creator </td> </tr> </tbody></table>
This is a blessing that comes about to create a facilitation for us to smoothly enter the door of understanding and wisdom vis-a-vis the one God/creator and the associated creation that we are part of.

Guru ji may have also used it as a humbling statement that all their wisdom or understanding is all as a result of God/creator's blessing and nothing of their personal efforts or acumen.

I believe Tejwant Singh ji has also posted along these lines so the above may be a repeat. I am including it as I believe it to be very fundamental in the context of my post and I was remiss in not doing this earlier.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
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Nov 14, 2008
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i feel Spirituality can make us true Scholar . Scholarship without Spirituality only increases our "haumai "

<table cellspacing="5"><tbody><tr><td>ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਃ ੧ ॥
Shalok, First Mehl:
ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਗਡੀ ਲਦੀਅਹਿ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਭਰੀਅਹਿ ਸਾਥ ॥
You may read and read loads of books; you may read and study vast multitudes of books.
ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਬੇੜੀ ਪਾਈਐ ਪੜਿ ਪੜਿ ਗਡੀਅਹਿ ਖਾਤ ॥
You may read and read boat-loads of books; you may read and read and fill pits with them.
ਪੜੀਅਹਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਬਰਸ ਬਰਸ ਪੜੀਅਹਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਮਾਸ ॥
You may read them year after year; you may read them as many months are there are.
ਪੜੀਐ ਜੇਤੀ ਆਰਜਾ ਪੜੀਅਹਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਸਾਸ ॥
You may read them all your life; you may read them with every breath.
ਨਾਨਕ ਲੇਖੈ ਇਕ ਗਲ ਹੋਰੁ ਹਉਮੈ ਝਖਣਾ ਝਾਖ ॥੧॥
O Nanak, only one thing is of any account: everything else is useless babbling and idle talk in ego. ||1||

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charanjit

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Jan 15, 2008
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Investigation into the word Sikh is very much required. It appears to me to me to be more than a noun more than an object. Perhaps one should look at its history and it's use and how it came to be used as a noun. One should also look as to how it was used by the gurus was it ever intended to mean a person who is a follower? What is the context in which the word is used?*


The word gur Sikh should also be examined further. Some seem to think it refers to a Sikh of the gurus. If that is so then his learning is limited *to the teachings of the guru and does not encompass the whole. You may argue that the gurus teachings are whole and encompass everything but by the faculties or the obvious faculties you have you can only learn according to your experience and experience is always limited.*

Gursikh may also mean he himself who is the guru and also the learner. I think this is the correct and better use for the word and moreso the intended use for Sikhs. That you yourself are the guru which the Sikh gurus also point towards. The gurus are essentially saying that you are a light unto yourself. Only you can find your own light and light your own path.*

Angad did not need to follow nanak I expect he was enlightened before this. And perhaps the same goes for a number of the gurus who may have been enlightened before their association with the preceding guru. (They may not necessarily have needed the gurus word to find truth. So therefore is it really needed and was it intended to be needed as such a crutch which again is a burden to carry. Then how are you to walk? Perhaps we dropped the crutches we would find out for ourselves whether we can walk or not. It appears that as soon as we enter life our parents pass on their crutches to us perhaps we should never take these in the first place and truly learn for ourselves).

Similarly Sikhs should think and act the same. Be a gursikh. Himself the guru and disciple.*

Sikhism and the texts which come under the umbrella of Sikhism should not be viewed as the be all and end all.*

An unburdened mind a mind not burdened with tradition is full of greater potential than the one full of tradition and it's limitations. Just as Nanak dropped everything all his past and tradition to say there is no mussalman or Hindu. Similarly Sikhs or those that are truly learners need to drop it all to find out for themselves and truly be gursikh the teacher and disciple a light into himself!

I'm grateful to Avika for the art analogy. The gurus may surely be asking you to paint a picture and make some art. However the technique appears to be given to you. You have trapped yourself within the limitations offered. In that sense any picture painted will only be an imitation. It will always be second hand. The technique itself is the limiting factor. Can something really beautiful be created from a technique given by another?*

Regards

Charanjit
 

Tejwant Singh

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Lucky Singh ji writes:

The 2 stated are not mutually exclusive but were to point out that One endorses gurbani through spiritual experiences and the other through study and understanding.
Only through studying Gurbani, one can create realisation, awareness, understanding and acceptance which can be practiced in real life to make us and those we get in touch with better. One can name/label it anything.

Akiva ji writes:
Hence the idea of Sant-Soldiers. The repeated imperative to "Jap Naam". Guru Ji repeatedly encourages us to "pick up the brush", so to speak.
Can you please elaborate what you mean by [The repeated imperative to "Jap Naam"]?

Ishna ji writes:
Some people can study as much as they like but without talent they'll still not be very good artists.
The art of studying is to understand Gurbani and use it in one's own life, hence experience it through deeds is the way our Gurus teach us. We are all good and bad students/Sikhs at times. The Picasso in us can only sparkle through our deeds no matter how abstract to someone else they may be.

The Sikh is always sikhing. That is the his/her only duty like a farmer tilling his/her land.

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 
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arshdeep88

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Mere study of religious scriptures only increases Ego which is a barrier in itself .
Many religious scholars of various religions are involved in proving their respective religions to be the only best and true ,they cite various example from their religious scriptures respectively to prove each other wrong,no doubt they do lot of study about the religion and have super memory to memorize the hymn no and page no etc.Just reading and reading makes a person feel superior to others which happens because ego gets feed up and feeling of i know more than him/her which ultimately makes the person see others with low stature.
Self examination also is essential in the process ,the jealousy of other persons,anger are to kept in check always.
ill rather say being more aware of yourself first you can connect better with the shabad guru
 

Tejwant Singh

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Mere study of religious scriptures only increases Ego which is a barrier in itself .
Many religious scholars of various religions are involved in proving their respective religions to be the only best and true ,they cite various example from their religious scriptures respectively to prove each other wrong,no doubt they do lot of study about the religion and have super memory to memorize the hymn no and page no etc.Just reading and reading makes a person feel superior to others which happens because ego gets feed up and feeling of i know more than him/her which ultimately makes the person see others with low stature.
Self examination also is essential in the process ,the jealousy of other persons,anger are to kept in check always.
ill rather say being more aware of yourself first you can connect better with the shabad guru

Exactly the thing our Gurus warn us against. A theory unless put into practice which as a result creates a personal experience remains a mere theory in our Munns.

The objective of doing Nitnem daily is not to parrot something in a fast forward manner because we are late for work. The main goal is to discover new gems in ourselves by studying it that creates little ripples within our inner oceans every time we do that or do Sehaj Paath.. These ripples created within us become our own personal experiences. With time the churning of these ripples through deeds turn into a tide and as they say, Rising Tide lifts All Boats, which Gurbani calls selfless Seva.

Gavieih Sunniey Munn Rakiyeh Bhaoh
Dukh Par Har Sukh Ghar Lei Jaieh
http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=2&g=1&h=1&r=1&t=1&p=0&k=0&fb=0

The above is part of our Nitnem in Jap and it gives us the basic formula how to lead our lives. The idea of doing Nitnem is to experience new meanings of life through our Ghrehasti Jeevan.

The interpretation is mine:

By Singing, listening and using that very information in our lives which is stored in our Munns is the only way to create the rising tide that will lift all boats. (Selfless Seva is the result and it becomes the Mode de Vie)

Hence, Scholarship and Spirituality are the two parallel tracks on which our Gurmat train runs. However, the former has to be laid before the latter. The latter can not be attained without the former and the absence of either makes it impossible to create the ripple effect that becomes the rising tide.

This is the art of living that a Sikh relishes his/her life with, but its only demand is for us to come out of our self created Cubisms first.

Tejwant Singh
 
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